NEW YORK — People of Indian origin living abroad have demanded legislation to protect their properties in India against a growing number of scams and the establishment of fast track courts to deal with property disputes.

The growing number of scams against hereditary, residential and commercial properties of non-resident Indians and PIOs is discouraging them from investing in India, a community meeting here over the weekend noted.

Organized jointly by the New York chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin and the Indian American Kerala Center, it discussed many of the issues that NRIs face in buying, selling and owning properties in India.

The meeting, chaired by GOPIO founder-president Dr. Thomas Abraham, requested that GOPIO take up the issue of setting up fast track courts with the Indian government. The meeting also called upon the Indian government to enact another piece of legislation to provide title insurance to ensure that their real estate ownership is protected against forged signatures on the deed and any other such fraudulent transfers of their properties.

It was also pointed out that NRIs are subjected to a higher tax deducted at source for capital gains when selling properties. The meeting passed a resolution covering all these issues and plans to present it at the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Los Angeles Nov. 15.

The speakers included New York attorney Anand Ahuja, who is also the president of GOPIO-New York, and Pambayan Meyyan, senior vice president of the Forest Hills Financial Group.

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