Consumer Issues
An easier way to process OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) applications
Everyone I have talked to about their experience of applying for an OCI card has had horror stories of missed application fees or multiple trips to complete the application in the exact way the government wants 
 
One is eligible for an OCI card if one satisfies one of the following conditions:
 
 
Applying for an OCI card is a 2-step process and the salient features of the process are listed below:
 
Step-1: (Submission of fully completed application to a passport agent)
 
(a) Processing of documents at passport agent
(b) Processing at Embassy / Consulate in US
(c) Dispatch of applications to New Delhi from Embassy / Consulate
(d) Verification of OCI application at New Delhi
(e) Granting and Printing of OCI cards at New Delhi
(f) Dispatch of OCI Cards from New Delhi to country of application
 
Step-2: (Match-Up)
 
(a) Arrival of printed OCI cards to US Embassy / Consulate
(b) Notification to the applicants to send US / Foreign Passports to passport agency for match-up.
(c) Dispatch of US / Foreign passports from applicants to passport agent
(d) US / Foreign Passports are sent to Embassy / Consulate for match-up
(e) Match up of OCI Cards with your Current Passport at Embassy / Consulate
(f) OCI Cards & US / Foreign Passports received at passport agent
(g) Return of OCI Cards & US / Foreign passports to the applicants.
 
The term "Passport agent" refers to a private firm (e. g. CKGS in the US) that has been entrusted with the job of screening the applications and making sure they are in proper order. The OCI card fee per individual is US $280 and there are some other overheads to take care of, so let us round it up to $300. Just reading the list above made my head spin a bit and I was thinking that the process is way too procedural and perhaps it can be simplified without removing any of the security aspects. 
 
Everyone I have talked to about their experience of applying for an OCI card has had horror stories of missed application fees or multiple trips to complete the application in the exact way the government wants and so on. Some gave up after a few tries because they felt that the effort is not worth it. 
 
Here are my suggested steps for getting an OCI card:
 
Families visiting India will be given an option of applying for an OCI card upon arrival
 
(a) While going through immigration, the official can determine if the visitor(s) is eligible for an OCI card and offers to process it for a fee.
 
(b) If they agree, copies of the passports and photographs can be taken (cameras are available in all counters or they can be sent to special counters that are setup for OCI processing) and the signatures can be obtained so the application can be sent to New Delhi for processing. This should take no more than 10 minutes per family.
 
(c) Once the application has been deemed approved, OCI cards can be mailed directly to the applicant's residence.
 
The Indian government must realise that its diaspora are its biggest friends and assets. They will be motivated to participate in its growth and success. This will go a long way in affirming its commitment to better governance.
 

User

COMMENTS

Shashibhushan Gokhale

2 years ago

Good idea.

Shashibhushan Gokhale

2 years ago

Good idea.

Over 90% of equity mutual fund schemes have an allocation of above 90% to equity

If the market heads lower, a lot of the funds will underperform, causing grief to investors who are rushing in now

 

Are equity mutual funds set for a period of underperformance? They are certainly not prepared for a market decline. Out of the 193 open-ended equity mutual fund schemes, only 16 schemes or 8% have an investment in 90% or less in stocks while 177 of them are invested 90% or more in stocks. The average allocation towards stocks works out to 95% for the 193 schemes, as per their February 2015 portfolio disclosure. 
 
Given the high market valuations, fund managers still seem to be bullish, even as investors have rushed in again into equity funds. As on 28 February 2015, the Nifty’s trailing price-to-earnings (PE) works out to 23.80. Over the past 15 years, the Nifty PE was above this level on just about 6% of the occasions. In just 18 months, the market, represented by the S&P BSE Sensex, has run up by 67% from a low of 17,968 on 27 August 2013 to 30,024 on 4 March 2015. This humongous rally along with the high valuations does not seem to deter fund managers.
 
The last time the Nifty reported a PE of 24 or higher was in December 2010. The average allocation to stocks by the 170-odd schemes in existence at that time worked out to 93%.
 
As many as 42 schemes or 25% had an allocation of 90% or less towards stocks. That market peak was not crossed in the three years and three months.
 
We have observed that above a PE of 22, one could say that the market is grossly overvalued. Over 13 such monthly occurrences (in the past 15 years), the Nifty’s five-year subsequent return, from the beginning at each of these periods, averaged just 5%. 
 
In our analysis we excluded close-ended schemes, equity linked savings scheme (ELSS), arbitrage schemes, sector schemes and index schemes. IDFC Dynamic Equity has kept the lowest allocation towards equity of 47%. A couple of other dynamic schemes that make it to the list are HSBC Dynamic and ICICI Prudential Dynamic. Quantum Long-Term Equity has reduced its equity allocation to 70%.
 
Will investors again regret if they jumped into the market at a late stage? 
 

User

COMMENTS

Naresh Narasimhan

2 years ago

Does this mean that its not advisable to invest in MFs now ?

REPLY

Naresh Narasimhan

In Reply to Naresh Narasimhan 2 years ago

I think the answer to my question is there in a previous MF 2014 issue

VGANESAN

2 years ago

Dont compare SUNDARAM EQUITY PLUS WITH OTHER SCHEMES BECAUSE THE SCHEME invests in gold upto 35 percent. Only balance is invested in equity. This is for ur information.I am surprised to see moneylife not taking into account for comparison .In future i expect moneylife to compare similar schemes.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

2 years ago

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” ― George Carlin

Pramod Bajaj

2 years ago

An equity fund should be invested in equity between 90% and above. Fund manager should not take the call on the market movement. His responsibility is to give market returns or beat those returns. It is the responsibility of investor to do proper asset allocation as per his risk appetite and his specific schedule of goals for which he is making investments. If investor can do this himself then he should take the advise of some trusted advisor.

REPLY

Anand Doctor

In Reply to Pramod Bajaj 2 years ago

Agree completely!

Dushyant Thakker

In Reply to Pramod Bajaj 2 years ago

Completely agree. Trying to time the market is akin to speculation. One can’t outsmart the market!

Vimal Jain

2 years ago

Good Story

Nifty, bank Nifty, Sensex continued to remain weak – Monday closing report

Nifty will have to close above 8,600 and Bank Nifty above 18,700 for the downtrend to be arrested

 

In last week’s closing report, we had mentioned that the move on NSE’s CNX Nifty maybe weak and the weakness might pull the index to the level of 8,300. The 50-stock index opened Monday in the green and immediately hit the day’s high. However, it then started moving lower. After several attempts to move higher, Nifty finally made a plunge in the red and closed lower for the fourth consecutive session. It hit its lowest level since 10 February 2015.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,317 while Nifty opened at 8,592. Both the indices moved lower form the level of 28,385 and 8,608 to 28,164 and 8,541, respectively. Sensex closed at 28,192 (down 69 points or 0.24%), while Nifty closed at 8,551 (down 20 points or 0.23%). Bank Nifty opened at 18,695 and moved from the high of 18,697 to the low of 18,410 and closed at 18,449 (down 157 points or 0.85%). NSE recorded a volume of 73.16 crore shares. India VIX rose 0.07% to close at 14.2700.
 
Market regulator SEBI allowed debt-to-equity conversion by banks for distressed companies subject to certain clauses of the SEBI’s Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements (ICDR) regulations to be met and takeover norms of Sebi's will be relaxed.
 
Union Chemicals and fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar on Friday said the Government will soon come up with 10 pharmaclusters in the country. These clusters will provide common facilities to the pharmaceutical industry, and help them hive off upto 25% of the cost, making them globally competitive. He said that for these clusters, a strategy has been decided for early implementation.
 
Minister of State in Ministry of Finance Jayant Sinha in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday said that the Government has proposed new tax accounting standards related to income computation and disclosures by businesses to ensure consistency as well as clarity on taxation issue.
 
SEBI has barred three companies, Everlight Realcon Infrastructure Ltd, Tresty Securities Ltd and Real Vision International Ltd, from raising funds from the public, with immediate effect. In addition, their respective directors have been restrained from the securities market.
 
SEBI has launched a major SMS campaign to create awareness among the public about fraudulent schemes claiming 'big profits in less time'.
 
"The huge supply of government paper in the country is one of the major impediments to the growth of corporate bond market," Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor R Gandhi said, addressing a corporate debt event organised by Care Ratings. This assumes importance given the government’s efforts to create a corporate debt market.
 
Coming back to Indian stock market, Gujarat State Petronet (4.99%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Alok Industries (9%) was the top loser in the group.
NTPC (3.20%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. It informed BSE today that coupon rate on the bonus debentures is fixed at 8.49% pa, payable annually and this rate would remain fixed during the entire tenure of bonus debentures.
 
BHEL (3.62%) was the top loser in the Sensex 30 stock. The finance ministry announced this PSU to be among the four in which government has approved stake sale.
 
On Friday, US indices closed in the green. Asian indices showed mixed performance. Shanghai Composite (1.95%) was the top gainer while KLSE Composite (0.73%) was the top loser.
 
Taiwan's jobless rate in February sank to its lowest level in more than 14 years. The jobless rate fell to 3.69% in February, the lowest since January 2001 when the jobless rate was 3.35%, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said today.
European indices were showing mixed trading while US Futures were trading marginally lower. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday assured European Union creditors his coalition would soon present economic reforms to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy.
 

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