Pranab asks Indian diaspora to be part of economic growth

President Pranab Mukherjee today asked the 25 million-strong Indian diaspora to invest in Indian companies and set up new ventures to become partners in achieving economic growth rate of above eight per cent.

In his valedictory address at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, in which over 2000 delegates from over 40 countries took part here, he said stock markets returns in India are among the highest in the world and asked NRIs to invest in them.

He said the country has managed to grow at a rate above eight per cent.

"Due to the slowdown in the global economy and other factors, the growth rates have declined, from 8.4 per cent in 2010-11 to 6.5 per cent in 2011-12, and further to 5.4 per cent in the first half of 2012-13.

"However, as India's economy has demonstrated its ability to weather external shocks in the past, I am hopeful that this resilient character of the economy will help to reverse this short-term deceleration and bring economic growth back to the level of 8 to 9 per cent. You too can become partners in the progress of the nation," he said.

According to Mukherjee, for the accelerated growth of the economy, investment level has to increase.

"A revival of the high investment rate in the country is a must for the economy to regain its 8 per cent plus growth levels. You all could help in the process by investing in Indian companies and establishing new ventures.

"The yield of Indian equity markets is amongst the highest in the world and many of the most famous companies have established business here or seeking to do so," he said.

He highlighted one of his key initiatives as finance minister by opening the country's capital market for Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs).

"Initially, we permitted QFIs to invest in Indian mutual funds and on January 1, 2012, in a far-reaching decision, we opened the doors for them to directly invest in Indian equities," he said.

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