“We are engaging with diaspora throughtout the year, on an ongoing basis”
Just days before the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Bengaluru in January 2017, Mr Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Secretary (OIA and CPV), Ministry of External Affairs, speaks to Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty on a range of issues regarding India’s engagement with the diaspora
Under the Narendra Modi Government we have seen a marked shift in the nature of engagement with the diaspora. The Prime Minister has himself addressed large gatherings of overseas Indians all over the world. What are your thoughts on this?
What he does is unique for any Prime Minister in the world. A person of his stature takes time out to engage in a comprehensive manner with our diaspora, whether it is diaspora in the U.K., U.S.A., Japan, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, Mauritius, Australia, Germany and wherever else he has gone. During these visits he has taken the opportunity to tell the diaspora about India’s development goals, and appeals to them for participation in the India growth story. He emphasizes on the importance of engaging with India. In Madison Square Garden, for instance, he said that the diaspora in the USA should have one foot in India, and another in the USA. The diaspora has gained enormous confidence since he talks directly to them. The diaspora’s desire to connect with India has grown. Diaspora is very enthusiastic. It believes that India has entered a new era, and there is a paradigm shift in the way India now engages with the diaspora. They are now willing to play their part. Already on the remittances front, the Indian diaspora has been topping the world list. We are expecting more investments from the diaspora, and greater sharing of knowledge that will enable India to jump into the elite group of nations. At the Ministry of External Affairs, our job is to create a conducive environment, give confidence to the diaspora that its investments are safe. The Government of India has started the process of liberalization, caps have been raised in any number of sectors. Diaspora can invest 100 per cent in sectors across the spectrum. Most profits can be repatriated. We are proactively seeking engagement with diaspora.