24 August, 2017
Revised Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) Guidelines issued by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
ICWF was established in 2009 in Indian Missions, by Government of India for meeting contingency expenditure incurred for carrying out various on-site welfare activities for Overseas Indians who are in distress. The ICWF guidelines were modified and revised by the Ministry in the year 2012. The scheme has further been revised now by expanding the scope of activities and purposes for which the fund can be used and enabling activities for welfare of both distressed overseas Indian and the Indian community, by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. These will be implemented w.e.f 1st September 2017.
2. Source of ICWF.
The service charges of ICWF collected on various consular services have been revised w.e.f 1st September 2017 .The revised rates are given as under:
|S No||Service||Revised rates in US dollar|
|1||Visa and OCI Cards||US $ 3/-|
|2||Passport||US $ 2/-|
|3||Attestation of employment documents||US $ 2/-|
|4||Attestation of other documents and other Misc. Consular services (other than in death cases)||US $ 2/-|
3. Individual Financial Assistance for distressed Indian nationals.
- Provision for improving consular services liking hiring of interpreters, organizing labour camps, development of e-Governance solutions etc.
- Support of Community activities like Indian cultural programs, promotion of Indian languages and art forms, welfare activities for Indian students etc.
- Providing emergency medical care to deserving overseas Indians, on a means tested basis, who are involved in an accident (with serious life-threatening injuries), have life-threatening medical conditions or suffer a serious disability, if the employer/sponsor is unwilling to meet the expenses and the family is unable to meet the cost. The upper limit of medical assistance has been fixed as US$ 5000 per case.
- Providing payment of penalties in respect of Indian nationals in jails/detention centres for minor offences/crimes (to enable their repatriation).
- Providing payment of small fines for illegal stay where prima facie the worker is not at fault.
- For transportation of mortal remains (TMR) to India- Free of Cost letter to Air India/Indian Airlines or pay for the one-way air fare for TMR, in deserving cases on means tested basis. Wherever deemed necessary, air ticket is also provided for a relative/attendant to accompany the mortal remains on the same flight.
- Providing expenditure incurred on incidentals and airlifting of mortal remains of deceased Indian national to India or for local cremation, where the employer is unable or unwilling to do so and the family is unable to meet the cost.
- Providing legal assistance on a means tested basis to deserving Indian nationals who have committed minor crimes, offences or have been falsely implicated by their employer and put in jails; fishermen/seamen/sailors/Indian students in distress; and Indian women abandoned/cheated/abused by their NRI/PIO or foreign spouses (up to seven years after their marriage).
- Providing two-way air fare to a doctor/an attendant to accompany the primary beneficiary in case of any disability, on recommendation of the hospital.
- Providing one-way air ticket to deserving stranded Indians, on a means tested basis.
- Boarding and lodging assistance (Subsistence allowance) for distressed Indian nationals for up to a maximum of 60 days on a means tested basis.
4. Accounts of ICWF maintained at various missions are subject to be audited by internal audit wing of the Ministry and Statutory audit.
5. An endorsement shall be made in passport and PRIDE (Centralized database) of ICWF beneficiaries.