The Indian diaspora is spread throughout the world, in significant numbers in many countries, including in all of the developed Western economies; the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand; increasing in numbers in EU and Africa etc. The UN puts these numbers, of Indians born in India but settled overseas at 16 million and growing, the largest single group from any country. When you add the number of Indians born of Indian parents overseas, these numbers would more than double.
For the most part, all of these Indians are doing well in their adopted countries and for the most part they are highly educated and actively employed in all key sectors including medicine, teaching, research etc.; are placed in most core institutions including NASA; many head or hold senior positions in large corporates, and now, are even in national and state governments of many nations while many others are entrepreneurs owning substantial businesses creating much wealth in their adopted countries.
Most of these look to India, and many have maintained their culture and connection with the motherland where most have families. Many have invested back in their families in India through land, real estate, businesses etc. Most have and maintain a deep concern and interest for and in India. Most look longingly and hope for socio-economic-political-bureaucratic change that would be meaningful in changing the Indian narrative since independence.
It was this factor that led to so many overseas Indians contributing money and time to the Kejriwal floated Aam Aadmi Party a couple of years ago, and most would be consistently disappointed with the state of play that persists in India. Even Mr. Modi’s sheen and connect with the diaspora is now being questioned viz. a viz. the substance delivery versus spin in all that has been stated, and actually delivered on the ground.
This diaspora is perhaps the biggest un or underutilized resource that is massive in its scope, by any government of India. The Rising India party will on winning elections declare and carry out the following steps to encourage a deeper connection with its diaspora with the view to encouraging them to invest in India, under a system that would incentivize their domiciling their company headquarters, manufacturing, or running major off-shore operations out of India.
The policy would also incentivize them to bring technology to India, either that developed by them or through joint ventures with foreign firms and / or individuals. The following Diaspora Policy is placed before the Indian public to consider:
- On winning elections, the government would pass a constitutional amendment that would allow Dual Nationality and make permanent citizenship available to all Indians and their decedents spanning 5 generations from the date of such declaration, and to all those residing overseas who have taken up other nationalities. This would be an improvement over the current Overseas Citizen of India scheme and would make for a better connect with overseas Indians
- There would be no restrictions on their moving in and out of India, or having homes in the country.
- They would have full rights of citizens in setting up businesses and participating in national development initiatives, buying properties etc.
- However, they would need to apply to buy and own agricultural land, and if they meet the national security imperatives, they would generally be permitted. On the other hand, they would have no impediments for inheriting and holding inherited agricultural land.
- Large parcels of urban land would be permitted if bought for development purposes.
- Overseas Indians would be encouraged to base their business Head Offices in India; for which privilege they would be granted Tax holidays and incentives, such that they would be guaranteed taxes below those prevalent in their adopted countries.
- In cases where their industries are in front line technologies they would be eligible for land and / or infrastructure grants, concessional rates, below those prevalent in their home countries for electricity, and other key inputs. The government would look at each on a case by case basis and commit to clear all applications within 16 weeks of application.
- A dedicated Ministry of Indian Diaspora Affairs would be formed within which Diaspora Plans Board and Implementation Board Groups would be formed to ensure high end connect and speedy action. The ministry would be tasked to work out policies and initiatives to engage these large and well-established groups that cumulatively have a huge influence and wealth spread all over the world.
- The diaspora would be encouraged to form the bridgehead to India’s soft power through initiating awareness campaigns and conversations based around its history and ancient civilizational narrative, which has contributed so very much to world development and cultures.
- The diaspora would be encouraged to participate in activities of national importance including Education, Defense technologies and manufacturing, Agriculture Industries, Energy, Environment etc.
- The government would invite appropriately qualified and experienced individuals or organizations to be part of the Plans and Implementation Board Groups functioning across disciplines at government and quasi-government levels for national benefit and to get the widest possible experience and minds in the national governance frame.
- All such initiatives shall be open to the public for further fine-tuning and improvement.
- The government would announce numerous offers and incentives for all descendants of Indian nationals that would be attractive for their participating in India’s industrial development and for financing selected projects in lieu of foreign direct investment by foreigners with foreign interests.
- Individuals with experience and excelling in education, science, technology, mathematics, energy, engineering, who have experience in building systems from ground up or specialized knowledge who would be incentive to shift to India would be given an environment and offer of salaries and lifestyles that would far exceed those in the West through the medium and means of good residences, house-help and other lifestyle elements that would both provide a luxurious environment while providing quality employment and life for those at the bottom of the socio-economic-education who provide the services.
- Many Indians who form the diaspora are children and / or close relatives of Indian politicians and bureaucrats who became the conduits for the flight of black money generated through all means. These would be identified within the diaspora policies, and these would have a chance under the amnesty to come forward and declare the facts of the origins of their capital or wealth and avail of the leniency to join the main stream Indian narrative proposed by The Rising India Party.