Dr BK Modi, global thought leader, Hon. President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) & Chairman, OCI Investor Forum announced the formal launch of the OCI Investor forum. The forum will focus on promoting global economic investment by OCIs into various business sectors in India. The proposed size of investment to be generated would be approximately fifty percent of the current GDP. Dr Modi emphasised on the use of digital technology in ventures in Kashmir.
The OCI forum is a unique attempt at developing a social approach to business investment and to escalate development in identified regions whilst encouraging technological and entrepreneurial innovation in a multitude of sectors. As its first project, the OCI investor forum will undertake investment in the region of Kashmir to develop 100 Global Wellness Hotels in Kashmir. Two seminal events were held in May & June 2019 in New Delhi and Srinagar to promote investment in Kashmir, prior to the government’s announcement on Article 370.
The OCI initiative will aid the development of a ‘New India’ as a USD 5 trillion economy by acting as a bridge to allow global Indians an opportunity to ‘give back to their homeland.’ Also because OCIs are possibly the most politically neutral community because they are not permitted to donate to any political party. This ensures that their investments are more positively motivated rather than politically motivated.
Dr Modi mentioned that Foreign Direct Investment is the key to the development of a USD 5 trillion economy as envisioned by the current government and avenues that support clean money trickling in from OCIs need to be supported. OCIs can play an impactful role in creating a corruption free, New India but they must be encouraged by the government through various policy initiatives. With the OCI Investor Forum, we are targeting to raise the GDP fifty percent over the next 5 years through investment in various areas such as healthcare and wellness hotels, Exponential technology and Hospitality etc.
OCIs are in a sense, global ambassadors of India who have garnered a systemic knowledge of wealth creation, investment and business growth in other nations. The OCI investor Forum will partner with individuals and entities like AAPI, AAHOA, SICCI etc. to bring in much needed clean capital and deep insight of global markets in the economy.
To ensure that OCIs can tend to their investments, develop more profitable Indian enterprises and participate in the economic development of the country they should be allowed to spend more time in the country. The forum recommends altering the permissible limit that OCIs can stay in India without affecting their status. Presently, OCIs can stay in the country for a period of 182 days without getting taxed on their global income earned outside India. This limit must be increased to at least 270 days to incentivise them to invest in the country.
One of the significant points of emphasis behind the formation of the forum is to safeguard the interests of OCIs looking to invest in India and ensure they have the most convenient, secure and efficient policy guidelines overseeing their investments. Policy decisions need to be made to ensure OCIs are granted immunity and relaxation for the ease of doing business in the country. In order to ensure they can contribute to their best economically, they must be given a separate ‘Diplomatic’ category, and not be clubbed with either NRIs or foreigners. Since OCIs are subject to laws of their own countries, they should therefore lie outside the ambit of investigation bodies like IT, ED and CBI etc.
The forum also proposed removing FDI cap across all sectors for OCI investment and the creation of state backed sovereign funds to invest in.