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Captains sell wares to guests

Sow a rupee, reap a dollar. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi set the tenor of the blitz by chief ministers of different states to woo NRIs at the three-day Pravasi Divas here.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 02:41 IST
Ashok Das

Sow a rupee, reap a dollar. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi set the tenor of the blitz by chief ministers of different states to woo NRIs at the three-day Pravasi Divas here.

Captains of nearly half-a-dozen states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Maharashtra, on Sunday went overboard to lure NRIs and People of Indian Origin (PIOs) by showcasing heir investment potential.

If Modi made a strong business pitch, it was Bihar 'CEO' Nitish Kumar who struck a chord. He dumped the prepared text for some disarming plainspeak. He spelt out the slew of measures his government has unveiled to bring in foreign investment.

Listing opportunities in various sectors, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy exhorted overseas Indians to make the state the most-favoured hub. Tourism figured high on his agenda. He assured a Malaysian delegation, which evinced interest in establishing a five-star hotel in Hyderabad that clearances would be given through a single window. He said investors could approach the tourism ministry, which would help cut the red tape.

Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy also played on similar lines. “It is not my intention to talk sales here. Any discerning and prudent investor will notice the changes taking place in the state. I appeal to you to come and see them for yourself. The rest will fall in line,” he said.

Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan were represented by their ministers. Tamil Nadu projected excellent communication infrastructure and skilled IT manpower. State IT minister D. Jayakumar said with exports close to 2.5 billion dollars, it was an ideal investment destination. Chairing the session, deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia called upon the states to introduce reforms in various sectors to attract investment.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 02:41 IST