President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee has asked overseas Indians and NRIs to invest in Indian companies and establish new ventures here to help revival of the high investment rate for the economy to regain its eight per cent plus growth levels.

Speaking at the valedictory of the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Kochi on Wednesday night, the President pointed out that for the accelerated growth of the economy, investment levels had to increase.

The rapid economic growth in India after 2003-04 was accompanied by a rise in the investment rate, which had declined after reaching its highest level in 2008.

He said the yield in Indian equity markets was amongst the highest in the world and many famous companies had established business here or were seeking to do so.

Mr. Mukherjee said as Finance Minister he had opened up the Indian capital market for qualified foreign investors (QFIs). “Initially, we permitted the QFIs to invest in Indian mutual funds and on the New Year Day this year, in a far reaching decision, we opened the doors for them to directly invest in Indian equities. Soon thereafter, the corporate bond market was opened up to the QFIs.” He hoped the NRIs would also like to look at the opportunity and take advantage of the high yield one was likely to get by investing in the Indian capital markets.

Detailing the schemes open for the Indian diaspora to invest here, Mr. Mukherjee pointed out that the NRIs had deposited close to $67 billion by the end of October 2012.

The net private transfers from abroad during the first half of 2012-13 was close to $33 billion, which was a testimony to Indians abroad finding it both emotionally and financially fulfilling to invest in India, especially in view of the sound economic fundamentals of the country.

Earlier, the President presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award to 15 persons of Indian origin, including the Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag. Rajiv Mehrishi, secretary of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, welcomed the gathering. Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, spoke.

Governor H.R. Bharadwaj, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Ministers E. Ahamed and K.V. Thomas, and Minister K.C. Jospeh were present on the dais.

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