NRI is making a film on Narendra Modi

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi’s journey from a common man to the chief minister of Gujarat has caught the fancy of NRI filmmaker Mitesh Patel, who is making a projected Rs 40 crore movie on him. He admits the film on the politico couldn’t be better-timed, but denied it being an “image-building exercise” for Modi ahead of the general elections due next year.

The idea for a movie on Modi’s rise to power set in two years back in Patel’s mind. And it was just last week that Patel met Modi in Gandhinagar.
“He said, ‘You can make it’,” Patel, who will produce the project, told IANS over phone from Ahmedabad. He is here scouting for locations for his film
“The elections are coming, and I think it’s perfect timing for my film,” said Patel, adding that the movie will essentially delve on how Modi progressed from being a tea stall worker to a political leader, who is now seen by many as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate.

“I am very impressed by his progress, so my movie is based on him and his struggle. I wish to give a positive message through the film. I have met him and explained my idea to him, and he said, ‘Okay’,” Patel, who is originally from Baroda, said.
Is it an image-building exercise?
“I am not targeting anything like that. The film is just on him, and it is not an effort to present any sort of truth. May the best person win the elections, but my film is not for any image-building,” he clarified.

The yet untitled movie is likely to go on floors in September, and it may be shot in Mumbai and Gujarat.
The film’s director and cast are yet to be locked. However, writer Mihir Bhuta, and Kishore Makwana, a close Modi associate, who has penned a book titled “Samaajik Samrasta” based on Modi’s speeches and writings, are helping Patel to put the film together.

“They are helping me with perfect information on Modi sir, and I am also taking help of books. But the film will be a mix of fact and fiction. Mihir Bhuta has written the script,” said Patel.
As for the lead actor, the producer has his eyes set on the versatile Paresh Rawal.
Patel, hopes to present the movie as a commercial biopic on the lines of the recently released hit “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, which profiled the struggles of ace athlete Milkha Singh and “Guru”, which was inspired by the life of businessman Dhirubhai Ambani.

“I want to give a very good message through the movie, and in a way that even general people (who do not follow politics) understand it. Not many people want to look at serious documentaries,” he said.

Dollar power gets elderly NRI doctor 152 wannabe brides

AHMEDABAD: This can turn young grooms green with envy! At 68, a US-based doctor has an option to choose a bride from not less than 152 women, some as young as 21 years, speaking volumes about the rising value of the greenback!
Dr Raman Shah (name changed), a practicing physician in New York, was flooded with proposals after he put out a matrimonial ad. Dr Shah had remained single after an Amdavadi woman he was in love with refused to move with him to the US. He had also lost his parents and two brothers some years ago.
A month ago, Dr Shah approached the Ahmedabad-based NGO that runs a matrimonial service for the elderly.”Dr Shah needed a life partner as he couldn’t bear the loneliness anymore. We put out an ad saying that a 68-year-old doctor residing in New York needs a bride who is willing to shift to the US. There is no age, caste or religion bar,”said the co-ordinator of the NGO.
And, the response not only surprised the NGO but Dr Shah too. “We had expected around 25-30 responses that too from women aged above 45 or 50 years. But there is a mad rush to marry him. There are 152 women who are keen to marry him and shift to the US,” said the coordinator.
The wannabe brides include a 21-year-old Muslim girl from Surat and a Hindu girl from Ahmedabad of the same age.
Surprisingly, a 35-year-old woman from Ahmedabad is even ready to dump her husband if Dr Shah selects her. “Also, there are a few who want a live-in relationship with him,” he said.

Dr Shah is planning to come to Ahmedabad in November to tie the knot.

Dehradun ranks 5th on NRIs’ list of property investment destination

The Rupee’s sharp dip against the US dollar has made temptations for non-resident Indian (NRI) to buy property with realtors expecting an increase of 35% in business enquiries from the expatriates this year, reveals the associated chamber of commerce and industry of India (Assocham) recent findings.

Releasing the Assocham paper on “Falling Rupee sparks property boom from NRIs” D S Rawat, Secretary General Assocham said, “With the rupee riding low against the dollar, Indian residents are looking to accelerate investment plans back home”. The rupee has fallen by about 34% against the US dollar since August 2011 and crossed 65 against the dollar.

The survey highlighted that Bangalore is the most favourite property investment destination for NRIs followed by Chennai (2nd), Mumbai (3rd), Ahemdabad(4th), Dehradun (5th). A lot of Punjabis settled in Canada and UK are expected to invest more in Chandigarh sub-urban like Dera basi, Mohali and Panchukla. This time, there is a lower demand for the Delhi-NCR market, adds the Assocham survey.

Assocham conducted a random survey of nearly 1,250 real estate developers in Delhi-NCR, Dera Basi, Mohali near chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai etc. The survey reveals that interest for buying property by NRIs have increased due to favourable exchange rates.

“The Indian property developers are anticipating a 35% surge in enquiries to NRI-based purchasers as the rupee dip against the dollar last six months. The decline in rupee has increased property sales because people want to get value for their money”, added majority of developers.

Rawat further said, “It’s definitely not good news for people back at home, but for a non-resident Indian (NRI), this is definitely the best time to invest. At the moment any non-resident Indian buying a property in India can save around 20-30% on his/her property value.

The enquiries may go up further if rupee continues to slide, adds majority of the real estate developers.

The majority of real estate developer said, the NRI traffic is coming primarily from the UAE/Gulf region, US, Singapore, Australia, UK, Canada, South-Africa etc. The demand is more for high end properties and commercial buildings.

As per the recent estimates, nearly 5 million Indian expatriates live in the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and they remit close to $30 billion to India every year and have been growing over the years.

Buying a property back home is the top-most priority of every non-resident Indian, at least for those living in the foreign countries as the weakening rupee has given an impetus to fulfill that objective, added 75% of the real estate developers.

The Indian developers are optimistic and expecting to get a good number of booking this year. Their confidence is based on the fact that the rupee is plunging and has fallen 35% in last one year, adds the survey.

The enquiries from NRIs especially from the Middle-East, Europe, the US and Singapore for buying property in India have also risen by 20-25% following the rupee’s depreciation.

The record decline in the value of the Indian rupee and the sluggish realty market, proved to be a double delight for overseas Indians investing in property here, adds the Secretary General.

NRI Alert: India bans duty-free import of TVs

The plunge in the Indian rupee was, so far, good news for expat Indians, but it has now started taking its toll.

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and those on a holiday to the Gulf or anywhere else in the world will no longer be able to carry a duty-free flat panel TV with them back home from next week, with the Indian government imposing a punishing 35 per cent duty on such imports besides other charges.

The sagging rupee has plunged to a fresh lifetime low, under the Rs17-level against the UAE dirham and below the Rs63-mark against the US dollar [Read: Indian rupee plunges to fresh record low of Rs17.26 vs Dh1: Should you remit now?]

Using the declining rupee as a pretext, Indian government yesterday gave in to the long-standing demand of local TV retailers and banned duty-free import of flat-screen television sets by air travellers.

According to Indian government estimates, more than 1 million TV sets were brought into the country last year, with Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore as the primary sources.

Earlier, NRIs and other airline passengers could carry one piece of flat TV (plasma/LED/LCD) for personal use, worth up to Rs35,000 (Dh2,100) as part of their baggage allowance, without incurring any customs duty on the same.

However, from next Monday (August 26), that will no longer be the case as India has issued a moratorium on the scheme, citing the declining Indian rupee. As per the new rules announced yesterday, passengers will have to pay a 35 per cent duty and other charges, officials said.

As Emirates24|7 reported in June this year [Read: No Samsung India warranty for TVs bought in UAE], electronics retailers in India have long been complaining about duty-free TV imports from the UAE and other countries as such imports offer major price discounts compared to retail prices in India.

According to reports in the Indian media, Samsung India had been one of the most vocal critics of the free TV allowance policy, with R Zutshi, past president of industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) and deputy managing director, Samsung India, estimating that parallel imports of flat panel TVs accounted for between 10 and 15 per cent of the market in India.

According to him, the flat-panel TV market was as big as 3.7 million units in 2012, and is estimated to grow to over 5 million units in 2013.

In June this year, Samsung removed free international warranty on television sets imported from the UAE and a few other countries in an effort to protect dealers there against bulk and parallel imports.

The communication from Samsung India to retailers stated that that measure was be the first in a series of measures the Korean giant was going to take to protect Indian traders.

“As you know, India receives a lot of parallel imports of panel televisions from countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Dubai etc. As a first step in addressing this problem, we are pleased to announce that India has been removed from International Warranty Policy for Samsung Panel Televisions.

“Hence, standard one year free warranty with free installation support will no longer be applicable in India for any Samsung Television imported from Thailand, Singapore or Dubai. This policy has already come into effect and we wanted to inform you of the same,” said the memo.

The continuously declining rupee is a symptom of a weak Indian economy, but until this latest salvo, there had been no negative impact on NRIs working in the Gulf and elsewhere.

The Indian currency is down more than 18 per cent in less than four months since the beginning of May 2013, providing expat Indians further reason to remit record sums home and also evaluate fresh investment opportunities in their home market, especially real estate.

The rupee was yesterday officially crowned the worst performing Asian currency, falling past the Australian dollar and the Japanese yen.

The rupee, which has seen a plunge of more than 15 per cent since the beginning of the year, is now in competition to become the world’s worst performing currency this year, with only the Brazilian real (down 16.64 per cent YTD) and the South African rand (down 20.30 per cent YTD) faring worse than the Indian rupee.