States woo diaspora for investment

January 9th, 2012 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi Jaipur, Jan 9 (IANS) Chief ministers of several states Monday urged overseas Indians to step up investment, assuring a business-friendly environment.

Showcasing the development initiatives launched by their respective governments, they assured the Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin at the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here that their states would facilitate investment providing all possible support.

“We welcome with open hearts whatever support or contribution you may wish to extend. Your support will be a great morale booster for us,” said Ashok Gehlot, chief minister of Rajasthan, which is co-hosting the meet.

Gehlot said his government was taking proactive measures to attract investments from overseas Indians.

He said the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor would boost manufacturing activities in Rajasthan as the maximum 39 percent of the dedicated corridor would pass through the state. “Infrastructure will be developed in a band of 150 km on both sides of the corridor,” he added.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said his state was a model of development and overseas Indians should play a role and benefit from it.

Modi, however, said he was concerned about the well-being of overseas Indians. “The first thing that we in Gujarat think is what we can do for the diaspora instead of expecting something from them.”

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the diaspora played an important role in the development of the state.

He said remittances by non-resident Indians to Kerala were to the tune of Rs.49,965 crore (around $10 billion), which is almost 22 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

According to a World Bank report, the total remittance flow to India was around $58 billion in 2011, which was around 4.2 percent of the country’s GDP.

Chandy said Kerala planned to organise a global investor meet called “Emerging Kerala” in September this year to woo investments from the diaspora.

Urging overseas Indians to come and invest in the state, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda said: “I assure you that the government will extend all necessary help in making Jharkhand the first choice for your valued investment.”

Munda said his government was investing heavily in the improvement of social and physical infrastructure.

Addressing a special session, Bihar Industry Minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha said her state had made a significant improvement in infrastructure and the law and order situation.

“Things are improving fast in Bihar. You come and invest. We will offer all type of possible help,” said Kushwaha.

The three-day annual congregation, aiming to connect almost 30 million Indian diaspora living in over 130 countries across the world to its motherland, concludes Monday.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be reached at gyanendra.k@ians.in)

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