Even as Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia dispelled the impression that India was after NRI funds, the chief ministers sought their investment in key infrastructure and social sectors.
“I think we can get rid of the notion that we are connecting with the NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) because we want investment... we are not reaching out to NRIs because we need money," Ahluwalia said at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas. “At least 95% of investments in the country is domestic.”
Ahluwalia said India was reaching out to NRIs because of the long, socio-cultural footprint it shares with them but was categorical in stating that if they are not ready to invest in India, they should not be apologetic.
Of the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the share of NRIs was just 1.3 %. The cumulative FDI in the country since 1991 stands at $179.45 billion. India received $46.9 billion as remittances during 2008-09.
To attract 25 million diaspora, the state government showcased their investor-friendly policy initiatives while identifying education and healthcare as key areas for deeper two-way engagement.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said inclusive growth should be the "mantra" of development process if India has to emerge in the right earnest.
“This decade of Gujarat has been a decade of phenomenal growth. We have not only registered overall double digit GDP growth but our important sectors also have registered double digit growth," he said while addressing a gathering of around 1,500 NRIs and Persons of Indian Origins (PIOs).
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda described his state as land of opportunities and said it had grown at 8% even during the worst period of economic meltdown.
“Haryana has made rapid strides and carved a niche for itself. The state, which was largely an agrarian, is now one of the most industrialised states in the country with the manufacturing and services sector contributing about 80% of the gross state domestic product,” he said.