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India not after NRI money: Montek

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Sunday said India was not after Non-Resident Indian (NRI) funds and that more than 95 per cent of the investments have come from domestic sources. India was reaching out to NRIs because it valued the long, socio-cultural footprint that we all shared, he said.

“I think we can get rid of the notion that we are connecting with the NRIs because we want investment. We are not reaching out to NRIs because we need money,” Mr. Ahluwalia said at the annual Pravasi Bhartiya Divas organised by the government in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry here.

He said at least 95 per cent of investments in the country were domestic investments, adding that if the NRIs felt that their money was well spent here, they were welcome to invest. “If you think in another country you can do better, as an economist I will tell you that is exactly what you should do.”

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Valyar Ravi said the NRI share in the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country was just 1.3 per cent.

According to the latest government data, the cumulative FDI in the country since 1991 stands at $179.45 billion. Although the NRI investment in the country was not huge, the remittances from workers were significant. India received $46.9 billion as remittances during 2008-09. India is planning to double the investment in infrastructure to $1 trillion in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) against $500 billion in the current Plan.

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