NRI Roundup: Agreement with Netherlands, Mamata to Bengali diaspora, cabbie charged in Australia, Gupta family in South Africa

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Mamta Banerjee

Cabinet approves changes in bilateral agreement with Netherlands

New Delhi–The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved amendment to a bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) with Netherlands by incorporating the “country of residence” principle in the said agreement.

India has signed and operationalised SSAs with 18 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and South Korea.

“The amended SSA between India and the Netherlands, when operational from the third month from the date of notifying the said amendment to the Netherlands by India, will strengthen bilateral ties and continue to favourably impact profitability and competitive position of Indian and Dutch companies with foreign operations in either country by reducing their cost of doing business abroad,” an official statement issued here said.

Under the new Social Security (Country of Residence) Act, the amount of benefit or allowance paid to a qualified beneficiary (read as Dutch national) is adjusted to the cost of living of the country where the beneficiary is currently residing.

Mamta Banerjee

Bring software industries to Bengal: Mamata to Bengali diaspora

The Hague–West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday appealed to the Bengali community here to bring software industries.

“Our young generation is in the software industry which is an important sector. We have IT parks and land is also available. We will provide facilities within our capabilities. We have lot of scope for the industry,” she said, adding that state had no man-days lost.

Banerjee, who is accompanied by a high powered official and business delegation, is in the Netherlands to participate in the United Nations Public Service Forum as a speaker.

“In order to bring Bengali community as well as Indians living across the countries in the world with one platform, the state can think of a portal or website,” she said at the interactive session with Bengali diaspora.

Inviting the Bengali community here to participate in the next year’s Bengal Business Summit, she said the state had introduced Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman with an objective to take Durga Puja to different parts of the world. She also appealed to Dutch investors, along with Italian and German industrialists, to invest in the state.

Indian-origin cabbie charged over fatal crash in Australia

Canberra–An Indian-origin taxi driver in Australia has been charged with dangerous driving causing a fatal crash in which a woman was killed and 12 people were injured.

Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged Jatinder Panesar, 37, with one count of causing death in the Monday incident at Ardmona, ABC Online reported.

Panesar, who migrated from India to Australia in 2006, was released on bail and forced to surrender his passport.

He cannot drive or leave Victoria and will face court again on October 24.

During the incident, the driver crashed his vehicle into a mini-bus which rolled over after the collision at the intersection of Pyke and Turnbull roads in North Victoria, police said.

The bus was carrying 12 passengers while the taxi was carrying two passengers at the time of the collision. A woman in her 80s who was on the bus died at the scene and 12 other people were injured, the police said. Nine of the mini-bus passengers were residents at Mercy Place Shepparton while one was a staff member and two were volunteers.

South Africa Parliament asks questions about Gupta family

Cape Town–South Africa’s Parliament said it wants clarification regarding the naturalization process of the controversial Indian Gupta family.

“The Parliament on Tuesday has resolved to invite Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Mkuseli Apleni to give facts on the naturalization process of the Gupta family,” Parliament spokesperson Malatswa Molepo said.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs had initiated a process to engage the DHA on the matter because it considered the matter to be in the public interest, Xinhua news agency quoted Molepo as saying.

He added that the resolution also responds to the call to expedite the probe into the issue. Gigaba, who became the Finance Minister in April, granted naturalization to the Guptas when he was the Minister of Home Affairs. The Gupta family’s naturalization, which was revealed recently by social media, has sparked a public outcry.

The Guptas, who allegedly keep close ties with President Jacob Zuma and his family, have been under fire for exerting undue influence on Zuma in the appointment of cabinet ministers and the awarding of lucrative contracts with state-owned companies, known as “state capture”.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied the accusation.

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