Confident that crony capitalism will not have a place under the Narendra Modi government, prominent industrialist Swraj Paul on Wednesday called for granting Indian passports to expatriates who invest a minimum amount in industries in India and help ignite growth.
Speaking at a conference on corporate and sustainability organised by the Institute of Directors here, the chairman of the Caparo Group said granting Indian passports would ‘probably be too late to be of any benefit to me’, but will help and encourage the younger generation of entrepreneurs.
Unlike several countries, India does not allow dual citizenship, but has extended several benefits to foreign citizens of Indian origin through the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and People of Indian Origin (PIO) cards. The cards do not amount to full citizenship.
“For too long India has been burdened with an old, cosy, family-and-favourites, under-the-table style of doing and managing business. For the first time I now have confidence that that is going to change”, he said, as he recalled his experience of being one of the first to invest in India since the 1980s.
“It is also time to end the process where every case has to be individually considered by the government before approval. This is time consuming and opens the door for local lobbyists to stall proceedings. It also creates opportunity for corruption. A lot of companies trying to invest in India have suffered from this and it has unfortunately given India a bad name”, Paul said.
Recalling his long experience in manufacturing, Paul said he welcomed Modi’s focus on manufacturing, and added: “Above all, let us have honest investment where production costs are for real, where competition is open and where there is room for everybody. We must all pledge that we want clean businesses free of corruption”.