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Visiting Punjabi NRIs Give Zero, Gujaratis Shower $450 Billion

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    Visiting Punjabi NRIs give zero, Gujaratis shower $450 billion

    Sanjay Sharma, TNN, Jan 19, 2011, 05.17am IST

    CHANDIGARH: All that Punjab has been getting from its visiting NRIs is talk, demands and suggestions. In stark contrast, Gujarat has been able to garner $450 billion of investment intent during the annual Vibrant Gujarat convention for NRIs this year, while Punjab government failed to attract even a penny worth of investment offer during its version of convention held at Jalandhar on Tuesday.

    Though the government officially denied calling it an investment meet, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal made a power point presentation aimed at attracting investments.

    When asked about the quantum of commitments for investment by NRIs, the deputy chief minister claimed that the function was not organized for attracting investments but only to strengthen bonds with NRIs.

    Meanwhile, an interaction with various NRIs revealed that they were not yet convinced by the government's claims of having created a congenial atmosphere for investment in Punjab. Sarabjit Deol, who is active in Liberal Party in Canada, said though similar announcements and promises had been made three years ago, there was no visible difference on the ground.

    In fact, the Punjabi version of the conference also did not see NRIs of profiles that have surplus money for investments. One of the NRI leaders Satnam Singh Chahal, who could not attend the meet due to a last minute invite, said that the government seems to be targeting NRIs as such, whether poor or rich as they are potential voters rather than investors.

    In fact, this convention has come after a gap of three years indicating it was more for political reasons than for investments that are anyway drying up in Punjab because of the state government's inability to offer concessions that other states are giving. Even the early advantage of good infrastructure is no more there with major components in an economic activity – land and labour — being quite costly in the state.

    Giving it a political twist, NRI cell chief of Akali Dal, Surjeet Singh Rakhra said NRIs are still haunted by memories of violence and 1984 riots. He said there is hope now that NRIs will invest in their villages with the government announcing a scheme to contribute 75% from its coffers in rural infrastructure if NRIs chip in with 25%.

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Have been following your stories on this topic with interest Soul_jyot ji. And really would like to hear more from our members of Punjabi origin or descent. As one with no cultural history to inform me, I have to ask, What is Gujarat doing 'right' to attract 450 million?

    How do forum members react to these statements, which imho are at the core of the issue

    The first quote makes me think that NRI's are seen as one big wallet full of money. Is that fair or unfair of me?

    In the following statement, is the writer stating that Punjab has become a bad investment because it has little to offer in return?


    Is 1984 the only consideration?

  4. OP

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    NRI’s Seek Better Policies for More FDI Inflow in Punjab

    January 19, 2011

    Punjab needs to follow Gujarat’s lead and improve its "poor" policies if it wants to attract more investment from overseas Indians, NRIs at an investment meet here today said. "I do not see any major schemes or major development from Punjab or the state government which really helps (in getting NRI investments)," said Punjabi NRI Satinder Dhiman, who migrated to the US from Jalandhar 22 years ago.

    "It will be logical for the state government to look into it as lot of (NRI) money is out there," he said at the 8th ‘Punjabi Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2011′ NRI investors’ meet here, adding that real estate, education, services and IT are the potential sectors where NRI investments could flow in.

    Another NRI, Mahendra Khari , the President of the International Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry (IPCSI), pointed out that unlike other states like Gujarat, the Punjab government was not efficient in propagating polices or taking initiatives to attract foreign investment.

    "In Punjab, they (Punjab government) do not have much PR exercise like Gujarat… I have not seen much support from state functionaries like NRI help centres, professional support, etc.. It (support) is at a personal level (rather) than any other level," rued Khari, who is based in the UK. The Punjab government, too, thinks there is scope for more investment by NRIs in the state.

    "I am not satisfied (with the scale of NRI investment in Punjab)… There is always a room on the top… There is a scope for improvement (in terms of investment)… I want more and more (NRI) investments should flow in the state," Punjab Industry and Commerce Minister Manoranjan Kalia told reporters here. According to Kalia, Punjab has received Rs 5,000 crore of FDI in the last four years in several sectors.

    The state accounts for just 0.42 per cent of the FDI inflows into the country, with the majority of the foreign direct investment witnessed in the manufacturing, warehousing (Bharti-Walmart), IT, real estate and pharma sectors. Though data on the investment by Punjabi NRIs is not yet available, the bulk of their funds went into the IT, real estate, education and agri-processing sectors. The strength of the overseas Punjabi NRI community is estimated at around 10 million, which is mainly concentrated in Britain, North America, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

    source: http://www.indianrealtynews.com/real-estate-india/delhi/nri%e2%80%99s-seek-better-policies-for-more-fdi-inflow-in-punjab.html#more-4906

    NRIs don't feel safe investing in Punjab: Ruby Dhalla

    Tue Jan 18 2011, 19:17 hrs
    Visiting Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Ruby Dhalla said Punjab's hopes of attracting more investment from NRIs are unfounded, as the majority of overseas Indians feel there is no security for their hard-earned money.

    Speaking at an interaction at Guru Nanak Dev University, Dhalla -- who represents the Brampton-Springdale district of Ontario, Canada -- said, "There is no sense of security in Punjab and NRIs are scared to invest here. Even the ratio of fraudulent cases is enough to keep NRIs away from investment."

    "Don't expect the old generation which left India several years back will invest their hard-earned money all off a sudden... Their children are coming to Punjab to invest, but they need a safe atmosphere," she said.

    She made the comments in response to a query on why NRIs expect VVIP treatment during visits to their home country, whereas their investments in Punjab were minimal.

    "In Canada, there is no servant and chauffeur culture, as one has to drive his or her own car, so life is not simple as people think here," Dhalla said.

    "My mother several decades back, when she left Punjab for Canada, worked in a factory as a labourer... The hard efforts of my mother, who brought me up with good education and facilitated me to reach some calibre, was not an overnight job. It took several years," she added.

    "Now I am here in Punjab to explore the opportunities to invest safely," the Canadian MP said.

    In this regard, Dhalla said, "I even talked on this issue to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who assured me he would look into matter and extend all possible help to NRIs, who are keen to invest in the state of Punjab."

    "I held a thorough meeting recently with Sukhbir Badal about the safety of NRIs and their property in Punjab during the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference in New Delhi," she added.

    On the subject of fraudulent marriages by NRIs, "People in Punjab dispose of huge chunks of land to marry off lovely daughters to NRIs with the expectation of sending them to greener pastures. But things take a turn for the worst when the NRIs spend a few days with the Indian bride and then never come back."

    "It happens as most of the NRIs are already married there," she said.
    "I will raise the matter in Canadian Parliament about the people who deceive innocent Punjabi girls... to prevent such practices," Dhalla assured.

    "But at the same time, I do suggest that Punjabi parents take time and go for a thorough investigation when NRI grooms come forward with a proposal of marriage for Punjabi girls.

    Such decisions should not be taken in haste," Dhalla added.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/nris-dont-feel-safe-investing-in-punjab-ruby-dhalla/739080/0
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