Bengaluru all set to welcome Indian diaspora

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 05, 2017

RV DESHPANDE, Karnataka Industries Minister

Karnataka’s strengths to be showcased at PBD event beginning tomorrow

As the 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas gets under way in Bengaluru on January 7, Karnataka Industries Minister RV Deshpande shares with BusinessLine the state government’s plans to showcase Karnataka to the world. Edited excerpts:

How have you made the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 interesting for PIOs and NRIs?

We have lined up seminars and workshops for the three days. The first day has been given to the youth. Youth from abroad, youth from different parts of country and also from Karnataka will be participating. Here we like to see more exchange of views.

People of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) generally try to highlight issues related to them and this is a platform where the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responds to them directly. We (Karnataka government) is only a facilitator by holding the event in Bengaluru.

What is the level of participation for Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017?

We have got more than 3,900 registrations from 61 countries so far. We are expecting eight or nine chief ministers and many states are sending ministers. So far, 14 states have confirmed their participation.

Many industries have also confirmed participation and as you are aware, the Portuguese Prime Minister will be the chief guest.

Of course, Karnataka is participating in big way and we are trying to highlight all our strengths.

At the previous edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Ahmedabad in 2015, you pitched for investments, saying Bengaluru is the most happening city in the country with 50,000 dollar millionaires residing here. Now that the state is hosting the event, how do you plan to promote the state?

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is not an investment event. This is a platform for connecting with the Indian diaspora. Here we try to understand their needs. However, for the first time in the history of Karnataka, we are holding the event. I don’t expect investments to flow in.

But I’m trying to showcase Karnataka to the PIOs and NRIs who are coming from across the world and also to the people from all over India. I’m trying to showcase its strengths and potentials. Yes, while showcasing the state, we will be highlighting as to why 50,000 dollar millionaires are residing in Karnataka.

Where does Karnataka stand in terms of attracting investments?

As per the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) statistics on investment proposals cleared in the country till November 2016, Karnataka tops the list with ₹1.49 lakh crore, followed by Gujarat at ₹50,000 crore.

Do you think Bengaluru’s image has taken a beating with the New Year eve fiasco involving unruly youths?

That’s very sad. It’s unfortunate that it occurred in Bengaluru and I strongly condemn it. But it has nothing to do with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. As for Bengaluru’s image, I don’t think it was affected. Bengaluru has its own brand and own respect.

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Published on January 05, 2017
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