"Gulf NRIs should be offered different investment vehicles"

The Indian Business and Professional Council, Dubai said it made sense for India to approach NRI owned businesses in the West for Modi's new 'Make in India' campaign, but a better option would be for India to create ways to utilise funds available with NRIs in the Gulf by approaching them rather than going to the IMF or World Bank for loans that come with strings attached. Chairman Shahdadpuri suggested they could do that through investment vehicles such as Millennium Bonds that proved immensely popular with Gulf based NRIs when it was introduced in 2000, as many NRIs retain their savings in this market, and if Indian banks offered them higher interest rates on dollar deposits than are offered now, the banks would attract substantial funds with longer lock-in periods. This way the Indian economy will benefit as will NRIs. Former investment banker Sameeer Lakhani however believes investments from NRIs could be channelled into Indian realty in the short term, which will unlock substantial capital for development and infrastructure, as it allows investors to access and capitalise on the value of real estate growth that India offers. In 2012-13 progress was made with the UAE and India reaching an agreement to sign a bilateral investment protection treaty, that UAE based investors needed for reassurance that there would be no retrospective taxes, and that their rights were protected. With the new government things are starting to move, but it is not yet at a pace everyone would ideally like to see. Still, it is a beginning.