Sunday, January 8, 2012

Red tape, inadequate facilities hit India investments: NRIs

While the government promises all amenities to NRIs for investing in India, the implementation is lacking, delegates at annual Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas said.
Overseas investment in India has been hit by corruption and lack of proper facilities in the country, say non resident Indians (NRIs).

Many overseas Indians participating in the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas diaspora meet have complained that investing in the country was difficult due to lack of facilities and red tape.

Many delegates said that while the government promises all amenities to NRIs for investing in India, the implementation is lacking.

They added that permissions required to visit their home country are too complicated and need to be streamlined.

"The government has given us Overseas Indian Cards (OIC) but the process is very time consuming and too costly. If India wants to invite young entrepreneurs like me to invest here, then it should make things smoother and easier," Chandram Mookim, a US-based entrepreneur with business interests in India said.

"It took me four months and $400 to get this OIC. Waiting for four months and sitting idle do not make any sense," he added.

AR Jangid, who runs a furniture business in Dubai, said: "The Indian government should take up these card-related issues seriously and resolve these as soon as possible if it wants us to be associated with the India growth story."

"The government should make it less complicated," he added.

Kamal Singh, a delegate from Canada, said: "Whenever I come to India, I face a problem at the time of departure. After staying in India for a few days, the authorities at Indian airports always ask me why do I stay in the country for so many days. There are lots of is my motherland and I should be allowed to stay here till the time I want."

"You feel a complete stranger in your own country. We should be treated properly," said Singh.

Lord Diljeet Singh from Britain said that getting a visa was a big problem.

"Some people who still do not have OIC or PIO (People of India Origin) cards apply for visas, but it is time consuming and cumbersome. Also, people have complained to me about the attitude at some of the embassies and high commissions is not appropriate, not polite. It should be improved," he said.

Another delegate said that the process for clearing various projects should be made less complicated.

"Red tape is one of biggest problems for investment. Most of the time, bureaucrats run the show and they cause lot of hindrance in the clearance of projects in which NRIs want to invest," he said, not wishing to be named.

Some NRIs also raised the issue of corruption.

"Corruption is everywhere. To get a project cleared, the investors have to bribe officials and politicians as a rule," a delegate said.

Over 1,700 delegates from 65 countries are taking part in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Birla Auditorium at Jaipur.