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NRIs? Get business info at touch of a button

May 28, 2007 15:41 IST

For the 25 million Indians living abroad, getting information about their country especially the growing investment opportunities in various sectors would now be just a click away.

The ministry of overseas Indian affairs in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry launched on Monday a facilitation centre, which will act as a 'one-stop-shop' for addressing all the queries of the Indian diaspora regarding opportunities available in the country.

The centre, through its website and offices, will provide reliable data on investment opportunities free of cost besides facilitating clearance of projects on an individual basis as a paid value added service.

"The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre would act as an one-stop-shop for enhancing partnership with the Indians residing abroad by giving authentic and realtime information," Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said while launching the centre in New Delhi.

Besides providing a data base of investment opportunites, the centre would offer advisory services to Non-resident Indians like consular issues, financial services and their stay in India, he said.

Based on a public-private partnership model, the OIFC is being promoted by the ministry and managed by the CII and will operate as a 'not-for-profit trust' with a two-tier body for its management.

The centre will screen the opportunities available in the country before enlisting these for the Indian diaspora so that they do not fall pray to 'fly-by-night

operators' and cheats, Ravi added.

Having received $23 billion remittances from overseas Indians in 2005, Ravi said the investment made by the diaspora has been far short of its potential and the centre was aiming at tapping these prospective investors.

"The centre will promote overseas Indian investment into India and facilitate business partnership, by giving reliable information and also by providing paid handholding services to the potential investors," he added.

The minister also launched the website -- www.oifc.in which would make available the database and information, both sector wise and geographic specific, for the use of the potential investors at the touch of a button.

"There are investment opportunities everywhere. It can be sectors like power, infrastructure, aviation or port," Ravi added.

The focus of the centre is to facilitate individuals to come and invest in India and it was not meant for the large business houses, CII chief mentor Tarun Das said.

In June, he said, the CII is organising a meeting with about 100 NRIs in the US to make the Indian community more aware about the initiatives being taken by the government in partnership with the industry.

The centre would also assist the states in India to project investment opportunities in infrastructure and social sectors. The objective is to bring Indian states, business and potential overseas investors on the same platform, Ravi said.

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