Hindu migrants from Pakistan to get banking and property rights

Pakistani Hindu pilgrims wait for transportation at the India-Pakistan border border post in Wagah on August 11, 2012. A group of 232 Pakistani Hindu pilgrims are arriving in India for planned religious visits to sacred Hindu and Sikh shrines in Amritsar, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Delhi, and Indore on a month-long tour. The visit of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims follow reports of intimidation and conversion of Hindus in the Muslim-majority country. AFP PHOTO/NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW DELHI, Jul15: Hindu migrants from Pakistan in India may soon be allowed to open bank accounts and purchase residential properties as part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) pre-election promise.

Before BJP was sworn into power, it ran a strong campaign for Hindu rights across the country and now the time has come to fulfill the promises made with the Hindu migrants from India’s neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.

Hindu migrants on long-term visas in India would soon be able to open bank accounts on the basis of their visas and residential permits issued by the Foreigner Registration Office (FRO). India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had earlier allowed to extend banking and property purchase facilities to Hindus from Pakistan.

According to The Economic Times, the Indian government may also allow Hindu migrants from Pakistan to open non-resident ordinary (NRO) rupee account without the bank’s approvals.

Although, as per current rules, the Pakistani nationals and entities as well as Bangladeshi entities require RBI’s approval to open NRO accounts, but the current Indian government is planning to exempt the Hindu migrants from any additional scrutiny.

“There are various options on the table. We will examine them and also seek view of the home ministry regarding security concerns,” a senior official said. “We are hopeful that the home ministry will support the move,” another official said.

Last year, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said the government would prepare an action plan for the proper rehabilitation of Pakistani Hindu migrants in India.



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