Indian millionaire exodus due to regulatory overkill

Published:  20 Mar at 6 PM
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If you’re a multimillionaire, you can live where you please but, for the Indian mega-rich, the grass is definitely greener overseas than in the home country.

Over the past four years, almost 23,000 millionaires have deserted India for fresh fields and overseas pastures new, according to research co-ordinated by an internationally famous wealth management firm. The survey took in 150,000 mega-wealthy expat Indians and analysed the reasons why a good proportion were happier elsewhere in the world. Unsurprisingly, the motivation to leave was triggered by the ‘fear psychosis’ created by new laws aimed at curbing corruption, enforcing tax laws and cracking down on non-performing loans and black money.

According to the authors of the survey, whilst some of those who left or are planning to leave won’t be missed by legislators, the government needs to beware of ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’ by allowing the regulatory overkill to cause collateral damage to the economy. They believe although foreign investment is desirable, the real growth of a nation’s economy needs to be spurred by home-grown investors. As regards the final destinations of those who’ve left, it seems Dubai, Auckland, Montreal and Toronto are all favoured by international multi-millionaires, but the Indian filthy rich prefer the UK and Singapore as well as Dubai.

India isn’t the only world country whose millionaires are becoming expatriates, as 1.3 per cent of France’s mega-wealthy left due to high taxes before the new President Macron had a chance to cut the wealth tax blamed for the exodus. The Brexit effect on the British economy is being cited as the reason why the rich are moving on, and China’s loss of 1.1 per cent of its millionaires is said to be down to state interference. India’s present problems don’t only include massive wealth being transferred out, as the public banking system itself holds 33 per cent of the country’s assets but private banking is being utilised for trade finance, retail lending and credit card support, thus choking the country’s economic recovery.
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