Diaspora urged to invest in India, assured of sound climate

New Delhi, Jan 9: The chief ministers of Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana – which have a large diaspora population – and the northeastern state of Meghalaya have urged Indians living abroad to invest in their states, promising a sound investment climate and good infrastructure.

Kerala’s Oommen Chandy, Haryana’s Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Gujarat’s Narendra Modi and Meghalaya’s Mukul Sangma on Thursday addressed the ongoing 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the largest gathering of the Indian diaspora in the world, on investment opportunities in states.

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Modi, listing the achievements of his state, said the diaspora should not be weighed in terms of the money they repatriate back home but on the knowledge and experience they bring with them after their years staying in another country.

“We should not weigh our diaspora in terms of dollars… They have knowledge wisdom, global experience… and how to use that knowledge. Then we can take our country in a new direction,” he said.

He said in 2022 India would be celebrating 75 years of its independence, which he called “Amrut Mahotsav”.

He said as India moves towards the mark, “what can be a greater tribute than an India that is developed, globally competitive and admired, as well as locally inspiring, inclusive, resilient and united”.

For this, he said, basic amenities for all, flourishing agriculture, robust infrastructure and a vibrant democracy were among the needs.

Chandy highlighted the infrastructure development in his state. He said all the major IT names were in his state and his government was promoting youth entrepreneurship. He said his state’s cherished goal was to become a job giver from a job seeker.

“We’ll take steps to turn that into reality,” Chandy said.

He said Kerala government would be happy to help the diaspora to invest in the state and join in the state’s socio economic progress.

Hooda, enumerating the state’s achievement, also mentioned that Haryana has been the state that has contributed the most to the sports medals bagged by the country, including during the Commonwealth and Olympics – 28 of the 32 medals during the Commonwealth and four of the six medals in the Olympics.

Hooda said the Indian diaspora has played an important role in global brand building and boosting trade and sought their support in achieving sustainable and inclusive development in his state.

“The prestige of overseas Indians is rising in their adopted homeland. It has been earned by dint of hard work and India’s growing power has helped to raise your self confidence and Indianness,” he said.

He said Haryana has a special policy to attract investments from NRIs and invited the diaspora to make use of the window of opportunity.

Sangma started his speech by saying that most Indians are ignorant about the northeast. “When you mention Meghalaya, people grapple where it is.”

He said the northeast, with its population of 4.5 crore, and bordering Bangladesh and its population of 150 million – could form a good market.

“There is a lot of initiative for India’s Look East policy to push trade and commerce with neighbours with Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia,” said Sangma.

He said the northeast is focussing on strategizing investment, on renewable resources and a population that speaks English as its strengths. He urged the diaspora to visit the northeast, especially Meghalaya, for tourism and see the beauty of the place and also invest in the area where vast opportunities exist.

He also proposed that Meghalaya could be the venue of the next PBD to expose the diaspora to the richness of the northeast.

The PBD is being co-hosted by the FICCI.

IANS