Remove red tape & do simple procedures-
advice by NRIs

NRIinternet Correspondent
New Delhi, January 10, 2004

On Sep. 09, 2003, a three-day conference is being held in New Delhi to encourage overseas Indians to build closer links with their homeland. The meeting is part of an effort to tap the enormous potential of skilled Indians living abroad. India calls them the "NRI" - about 22 million people of Indian origin scattered all over the world. The annual income of overseas Indians is estimated at $160 billion, about one third of India's entire gross domestic product. About 1,500 overseas Indians are attending the conference, which focuses on investment possibilities in science, technology, healthcare and tourism

  • Mabati Rolling Mills chairman Manu Chandaria, Kenya said, " Indian government must stop wasting time in bureaucratic hurdles to attract investment from NRIs

  • Rana Talwar, chairman of the Britain-based Sabre Capital Worldwide Inc said., " A lot of red tape still exists. There are bureaucratic hurdles in foreign investments that need to be removed". He added that the large fiscal deficits of central and state governments were a matter of concern. He said, "We take two steps forward (in the economic reforms) and one inevitable step backwards." "There is still Licence Raj continues in some places despite the government's best efforts. So we have to be a little realistic here,

  • Lord Bagri, Chairman of Metdist Group of Companies based in UK pointed a comparison between China and India- the Indian economic reform process has been constrained by various limitations including those imposed by the democratic process. However, panellists were all praise for the progress made by India in recent times and were optimistic about the future scenario. One is astonished at the positive and progressive changes which have taken place both in economic as well as other areas. There is a newfound confidence and enthusiasm. There were visible signs of dynamism and also a determined wish to speed up essential economic reforms, including in difficult areas like labour laws

  • The eminent economist Lord Meghnad Desai, a director of the London Stock Exchange, warns that India will only be able to attract investment from what he calls NRIs, or non-resident Indians, if an attractive climate for foreign investment is created. Responding to a question on disparities in development among Indian states, he tersely observed, "Why should Gujarat, Maharashtra or Karnataka make sacrifices for the laggard states? It is the problem for those states who are lagging behind, and they should do something about it."
  • Tarun Khanna, an Indian American professor at Harvard Business School politely but firmly cautioned the Indian government Saturday against attempting to control the funds that expatriates were sending to their alma maters. "Don't only look at our money, look at our ideas," urged Tarun Khanna while speaking at the plenary session on "India and the Diaspora: Vision 2020" on the second day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here. "I don't want to give money if I don't know where it is going," Khanna maintained.Khanna astounded the audience when he indicated just how much alumni could pay back to their institutions. "Princeton today has built up an endowment of $10 billion. Ninety percent of this has come from its alumni."

    One of the country's top industrialists, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani said, "India has to ensure substantive changes, especially cutting red tape to genuinely attract NRI money". Only emotive appeals won't do. We need to go beyond symbolism. What's required is more substantive action to actually get NRIs to invest in India. This is something that struck a chord with potential NRI investors. Many of them feel that despite the feelgood factor and the government's India shining campaign, things have not really changed on the ground. Hearts and minds of overseas Indians cannot be won with mere symbolism. Ambani said, "Professional bonding between academic, economic and industrial communities" will be crucial in determining how overseas Indians can help India become a key player in the global economy