Shimla: Overseas Indians can now forward all their queries in relation to investments in India to the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), launched by the Ministry of Overseas Indians Affairs (MOIA) in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). A website for the purpose – www.oifc.in was also launched on the occasion, in New Delhi, yesterday.
The website will focus on establishing and maintaining a Diaspora Knowledge Network, by creating a database of Overseas Indians and leverage the knowledge resources through an electronic platform. The website will also respond to the queries of overseas Indians regarding specific topics within 24 hours of posting.
The OIFC, according to Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, would be a not-for-profit trust, and would “leverage the emerging India advantage and the opportunities it provides to the 25 million community of overseas Indians.”
The trust would aim to promote overseas Indian investment in India and facilitate Business-to-Business partnerships between Indian Business and Overseas Indians and extend a host of advisory services to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and non-resident Indians (NRIs). The trust will function in a Public-Private Partnership mode.
The minister informed that while the Ministry will provide the policy support, the Centre will be managed by the CII.
The Trust is expected to be self sufficient within three years.
Objectives of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre:
Promote overseas Indian investment into India and facilitate business partnership, by giving authentic and real time information and also by providing paid hand-holding services to the potential Overseas Indian Investors.
Establish and maintain a Diaspora Knowledge Network, by creating a database of Overseas Indians, who would act as knowledge Diaspora and whose knowledge resources could be utilized by using ICT platform.
Function as a clearing-house for all investment related information. This would be done by processing information on a real time basis through ICT platform.
Assist States in India to project investment opportunities to overseas Indians in the infrastructure and social sectors. The objectives of the OIFC will be to bring the Indian States, Indian Business and potential Overseas Investors on the same platform and to facilitate the investors to identify the investment opportunities.
Provide a host of advisory services to PIO and NRIs. These could include matters such as consular questions, stay in India investment and financial issue etc.
While India is already the highest recipient of remittances from Overseas Indian Workers at $23 billion, the idea, the minister said, is to help transform the overseas Indian workers from mere savers to investors. “The challenge is to convert these savings into investments and I hope the OIFC will achieve this,” he said.
He also added that the OIFC will serve as a “one stop shop” for the Overseas Indians and will play an advisory role.
In addition to attract overseas Indian investments into India and facilitating business partnerships, a ‘Diaspora Knowledge Network’ will also be established under the aegis of the Centre.
The OIFC, according to G Gurucharan, Joint Secretary, MO IA, will provide the OIFC will provide business information to different sectors with initial focus on taxation, real estate and stock market. The trust operating OIFC will be linked to different ministries and would be a dedicated vehicle to provide information to overseas Indians on real time basis.
The trust created for OIFC will have a two-tier body for its management. The body will include the Governing Council and the Executive Directorate. The Governing Council will provide broad policy framework for the programmes and activities of trust in consonance with the objectives of trust. The executive Directorate will evolve strategies and implement the programmes / projects for achieving the goals set by the Governing Council.