Sector caps on investments should be removed for NRIs: GP Hinduja to Sushma Swaraj

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London: Investments by Non-Resident Indians in India should be treated on par with resident Indians and sector caps applicable to foreign investors should be removed for NRIs, leading NRI entrepreneur GP Hinduja has said.

Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, said this in a note submitted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday at the Bentley Hotel here. The note among other things suggested that the India should move to grant dual citizenship to the Indian diaspora.

“Investments by Non-Resident Indians in India should be treated on par with Resident Indians, and especially sector caps applicable to foreign investors should be removed for NRIs,” Hinduja said. “For example, NRIs are not permitted to hold more than 49 per cent shareholding in a defence sector – this restriction on foreign companies should be relaxed and removed for NRIs.” Hinduja noted that “an impediment to NRIs investing in India is the prohibition of Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) controlled by NRIs. Many NRIs have their wealth tied up in corporations.

“The Government of India should allow OCBs to invest as long as proper disclosures are in place and ‘Know Your Customer’ information is suitably provided. Round tripping of money by resident Indians will be discouraged.”

According to the note, the proposed merger of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) will give some relief to PIO cardholders.

The note said, “The Government of India should move to grant dual citizenship to the Indian diaspora.” Furthermore, the government should also allow Overseas and Non-Resident Indians to vote in general elections.

While inaugurating the two-day Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre here yesterday, Swaraj had said she would welcome suggestions from the NRIs and take necessary follow up actions.

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