Punjab needs to improve policies to attract FDI: NRIs

Chandigarh, Jan 12 (PTI) Punjab needs to follow Gujarat''slead and improve its "poor" policies if it wants to attractmore investment from overseas Indians, NRIs at an investmentmeet here today said.

"I do not see any major schemes or major development fromPunjab or the state government which really helps (in gettingNRI investments)," said Punjabi NRI Satinder Dhiman, whomigrated to the US from Jalandhar 22 years ago.

"It will be logical for the state government to look intoit as lot of (NRI) money is out there," he said at the 8th''Punjabi Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2011'' NRI investors'' meethere, adding that real estate, education, services and IT arethe potential sectors where NRI investments could flow in.

Another NRI, Mahendra Khari, the President of theInternational Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry (IPCSI),pointed out that unlike other states like Gujarat, the Punjabgovernment was not efficient in propagating polices or takinginitiatives to attract foreign investment.

"In Punjab, they (Punjab government) do not have much PRexercise like Gujarat... I have not seen much support fromstate functionaries like NRI help centres, professionalsupport, etc.. It (support) is at a personal level (rather)than any other level," rued Khari, who is based in the UK.

The Punjab government, too, thinks there is scope formore investment by NRIs in the state.

"I am not satisfied (with the scale of NRI investment inPunjab)... There is always a room on the top... There is ascope for improvement (in terms of investment)... I want moreand more (NRI) investments should flow in the state," PunjabIndustry and Commerce Minister Manoranjan Kalia told reportershere.

According to Kalia, Punjab has received Rs 5,000 crore ofFDI in the last four years in several sectors.

The state accounts for just 0.42 per cent of the FDIinflows into the country, with the majority of the foreigndirect investment witnessed in the manufacturing, warehousing(Bharti-Walmart), IT, real estate and pharma sectors.

Though data on the investment by Punjabi NRIs is not yetavailable, the bulk of their funds went into the IT, realestate, education and agri-processing sectors.

The strength of the overseas Punjabi NRI community isestimated at around 10 million, which is mainly concentratedin Britain, North America, South-East Asia and the MiddleEast.

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