At a time when Punjab is pulling out all stops to woo investors, especially non-resident Indians (NRIs), Indian-origin British MP Verinder Sharma said mistrust and insecurity among NRIs had increased in recent times, thus reducing the flow of NRI investments into the state.
In the city to take part in an international conference on cyber security,Sharma said drug menace and land mafia in Punjab had shattered the confidence of NRIs.
Sharma said: “Many NRIs are planning to sell their lands in Doaba because they are wary of the drug and land mafia. They think the land mafia will take control over their plots. They feel their children won’t survive here because of lack of transparency and prevalence of corruption in public systems, and poor law and order situation in the country. NRIs don’t see a future for the next generation here.”
Criticising the Punjab government’s plan to not hold the NRI Conclave this year, Sharma said: “With so much mistrust among NRIs, it is not a wise idea to cancel the event this year. The dialogue process must continue. The government must convey the message that all is well in the state.”
The MP further said that when compared to Punjab, the flow of investment was more in the southern states of the country.
He added: “The government must introspect as to why it has failed to win the trust of NRIs even after taking so many initiatives.”