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QUESTION No. 1932 HIKE IN EXPATRIATE DEPENDENT FEE IMPOSED BY SAUDI ARABIA

January 04, 2018

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 1932
TO BE ANSWERED ON 04.01.2018

HIKE IN EXPATRIATE DEPENDENT FEE IMPOSED BY SAUDI ARABIA

1932. SHRI C.M. RAMESH:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether it has come to the notice of the Ministry that there is an astronomical hike in expatriate dependent fee imposed by Saudi Arabia which primarily aims to send India families back to India;

(b) whether it would impact 30 lakh Indians staying in Saudi Arabia;

(c) whether the Ministry is also aware that from the next year the tax would be double and by 2020 the fee or family tax would be 4,800 Riyals; and

(d) if so, how the Ministry is planning to persuade the Saudi Government to refrain from imposing such tax?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI M. J. AKBAR)

(a) Yes. The Government is aware of introduction of expatriate dependent fee by the Saudi Government. The expatriate dependent fee being levied by the Saudi Government w.e.f July 1, 2017 is not India-specific and is uniformly applicable to all expatriates residing in the Kingdom.

(b) About 80% of Indian workers are engaged in blue-collar and semi-skilled jobs and are not allowed to bring families. Therefore, the impact of expatriate dependent fee will be limited to a small fraction of the resident Indian community. The imposition of expatriate dependent fee has not resulted in any decrease in numbers and the Indian community has increased from 3 million in February, 2017 to 3.25 million in September, 2017 in Saudi Arabia.

(c) The Government is aware that the expatriate dependent fee of Saudi Riyal (SR) 100 per month (SR 1200 per year) from July 1, 2017 on each dependent would be increased to SR 200 per month (SR 2400 per year) in July, 2018, SR 300 per month (SR 3600 per year) in July, 2019 and SR 400 per month (SR 4800 per year) in July, 2020 per dependent member of the expatriate family.

(d) The Saudi Government is exercising its prerogative and sovereign right by following this policy uniformly in respect of all foreign nationalities. The matter had also been raised during the visit of the Saudi delegation in July 2017 in New Delhi. The Government has been in regular contact with the Saudi Government towards safeguarding the interests and welfare of the resident Indian community.

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