Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expects the Indian economy to again start growing at 9-10 per cent in the next two years.
Addressing 1,200 overseas Indians from 50 countries at the inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2010 on Friday, he dwelt at length on how India was a great investment destination and invited them to actively participate in the country’s development.
He also held out hope that overseas Indians who retained their Indian citizenship would be able to vote in Indian elections. “I recognize the legitimate desire of Indians abroad to have a say in who governs India,” he said. “We are working on this. I hope they will get a chance to vote by the time of the next general elections.”
The PM’s economic growth estimate comes on the heels of chief economic advisor to the finance ministry, Kaushik Basu predicting nine per cent growth could be possible the next fiscal itself.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had also declared that he expected 7.75 per cent overall growth in the current financial year.
Adding that non resident Indians' investments in India were far lower than they could be, Singh noted that India had weathered the global economic crisis of the past year far better than most other countries.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma too joined Singh in marketing India’s potential for providing excellent returns on investment. Nath even suggested floating an infrastructure bond scheme exclusively for NRIs.
“Only 10-11 percent of the foreign direct investment in India comes from the diaspora,” Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Ajay Dubey told HT. “In China, 70 per cent of the FDI is diaspora-led.”