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Overseas Indians keen on real estate investment

"We are getting a lot of queries from overseas Indians about investing in property in India," says Harish Kirpal of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

delhi Updated: Jul 02, 2007 05:31 IST

IANS
Hindustantimes
         

Real estate investment tops the list of queries received by the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) launched by the government.

"We are getting a lot of queries from overseas Indians about investing in property in India," Harish Kirpal of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), who is chief executive of OIFC, told IANS.

OIFC, a one-stop shop to help overseas Indians invest in India, was launched by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) May 28. The CII is the private sector partner and host institution of this not-for-profit trust.

Speaking about the response received by the centre since it was launched, Kirpal said going by the initial trend, real estate tops the list in terms of interest shown by overseas Indians while stock market investments come second.

"Lots of NRIs (non-resident Indians) and PIOs (persons of Indian origin) want to invest their small savings in the Indian stock market. We are in the process of guiding them in turning their savings into concrete investments," he said.

Share market, mutual funds and private equity funds are what the potential investors want to know about, he added.

People are also showing an interest in the hospitality sector, especially with the Commonwealth Games coming up in New Delhi in 2010.

"Basically, we are focussing on four areas investment in real estate, investing in the stock market, investing generally in India and setting up investment partnerships with states," said Kirpal.

Some queries don't have much to do with OIFC but the centre is nevertheless guiding information seekers to the right channels, he said.

"People are interested in starting stress management courses and promoting tourism."

Stating that it is still early days for the centre, he added: "We are still getting used to the concept. We are planning a big publicity campaign and expect to make this centre really big in the next two-three months. As of now, we are strengthening the backend support, especially in the real estate sector."

OIFC will be supported in its work to help potential investors by professional organisations in the respective sectors.

According to another OIFC official, hits on the centre's website are also on the rise.

"We are gradually increasing the modules and services on the website," he said.

When asked about the number of queries the centre has received so far, he said: "On an average we get around four to five queries every day. We respond within a period of 24 hours to each query."

At the launch of the centre, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi had said his ministry had given full freedom to the CII to run it.

Mentioning that investment by overseas Indians in India has been far short of its potential, given the profile of overseas Indians, he had stated that the new centre would aim to fill this gap.

"It will promote overseas Indian investment into India by giving authentic and real time information.

"It will also establish a diaspora knowledge network by creating a database of overseas Indians, who would act as knowledge diaspora and whose knowledge resources could be utilised by using the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) platform," the minister added.

There are an estimated 25 million overseas Indians across 130 countries.

First Published: Jul 01, 2007 08:27 IST