States seek more investments by overseas Indians

Jaipur: Chief Ministers of several states, including Gujarat, today wooed more investments from overseas Indians by flaunting developmental initiatives launched by their respective governments and concessions offered to entrepreneurs.

The leaders also assured the Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin at the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here that their states would be more than willing to facilitate if they wish to invest in any sector thus contributing to the overall development.

The Chief Ministers deviated from their prepared speech copies and went all out to woo the NRIs and PIOs as they explained the development initiatives being taken by their respective governments in achieving inclusive growth.

They specially mentioned schemes launched to empower womenfolk in their states.

Speaking on the occasion, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi punched holes in the current development model calling it as one based on exploitation and suggested emulation of his state`s model where people have been made "equal partners" in the process to achieve inclusive growth.

Deviating from the prepared speech, Modi concentrated on the model adopted by his administration to achieve inclusive growth and explained how his state became a power surplus state in a span of just few years.

Modi, whose speech was lapped up by the delegates from 60 countries, lauded the contributions made by overseas Indians in the country`s development and particularly mentioned Gujarati diaspora.

"Our vision is to develop the country as a whole while focusing on development in our state of Gujarat which has seen tremendous progress. We turned crisis into opportunities and presented a new model before the country.

"We took major initiatives in the sectors of non-conventional energy sector, agriculture, industrial growth, education and presented a different picture.Gujarat is the first state to take several initiatives that included launching of a solar policy, setting up of University of Forensic science and security agencies from across the globe are working with the university," he noted.

Another BJP-ruled state Jharkhand, which has rich mineral resources, sought investments from the overseas community in areas like hospitality and air taxi services.

Listing the initiatives being taken to put the state on the development path, Chief Minister Arjun Munda said Jharkhand needs investments in quality and specialized healthcare and diagnostic units, hospitals, medical colleges and para-medical institutions.

He said the government wants to involve more private partners in these sectors and that it has already identified 800 acres of land for a Knowledge City which will host all such institutions including biotechnology and pharmaceutical park.

"I assure you that the State will extend all necessary help for making, Jharkhand a first choice for your valued investment, along with the use of world class efficient green technology," he told overseas Indians.

With majority of the non-residents of the state are unskilled and semiskilled workers, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy devoted his speech to the initiatives taken to protect them and to promote Kerala as an investment destination.

Chandy said the state wants investments in IT and IT-enabled service, tourism, healthcare, knowledge, trade and retailing and infrastructure development. He asked the overseas Indian community to actively participate in taking Kerala and India on the fast track of growth and prosperity.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said his state was one of the few states to achieve power generation targets more than desired in the past few years and that his administration was continuously concentrating on developing high quality of road and transport infrastructure.

He also announced setting up of Rajasthan Infrastructure Development Board to develop world-class infrastructure.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda lauded the contributions of the overseas community and asked them to partner in the state`s growth.