The government has extended more benefits to overseas Indians holding the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said on Sunday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2007, the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora, Ravi said: "We have decided to extend a wider range of benefits to OCI cardholders. I am happy to announce three new benefits: first, parity with non-resident Indians on inter-country adoption; second, parity with resident Indian nationals in domestic airfares; and third, parity with Indian nationals in entry fees for national parks and wildlife sanctuaries."
The OCI card scheme was launched at the last PBD in Hyderabad and offers overseas Indians staying in countries allowing dual citizenship equal rights with Indian citizens in India except for some constitutional rights like election to constitutional posts and appointment as judges in Supreme Court or high courts.
The minister said that since the launch of the scheme, over 90,000 OCI cards have been issued till now.
He also added that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) was working on a host of other benefits including allowing overseas Indian doctors to practice in the medical field in India.
PBD is the flagship event of the MOIA. For this fifth edition of the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the institutional partner while the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is the partner state.