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NRI investors ask for removal of red-tapism

As India wooed its diaspora for greater investments, NRIs have made several demands from govt, including less bureaucracy and removal of hurdles.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2004 16:20 IST

As India wooed its diaspora for greater investments, non-resident Indians (NRIs) have made several demands from the government, including less bureaucracy and removal of hurdles.

"A lot of red tape still exists. There are bureaucratic hurdles in foreign investments that need to be removed," said Rana Talwar, chairman of the Britain-based Sabre Capital Worldwide Inc., at the ongoing second Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention.

Kenya-based Mabati Rolling Mills chairman Manu Chandaria echoed the point. "Unless the (Indian) government stops wasting time in bureaucratic hurdles, investment flows from the diaspora may not increase," he said, participating in a session on Globalisation, Indian Economy and the Diaspora.

Elaborating on the demands, Talwar added that the large fiscal deficits of central and state governments were a matter of concern. "But the exit policy also remains a matter of concern for potential foreign investors," he pointed out.

He complained: "We take two steps forward (in the economic reforms) and one inevitable step backwards."

Britain-based Metdist Group of Companies chairman Lord Bagri, too, underscored the point when making a comparison between China and India.

"Compared to China, the Indian economic reform process has been constrained by various limitations including those imposed by the democratic process," said Bagri.

However, panellists were all praise for the progress made by India in recent times and were optimistic about the future scenario.

"One is astonished at the positive and progressive changes which have taken place both in economic as well as other areas. There is a newfound confidence and enthusiasm," Bagri noted.

He, however, contended there were visible signs of dynamism and also a determined wish to speed up essential economic reforms, including in difficult areas like labour laws.

First Published: Jan 10, 2004 16:20 IST