The regular credit that comes to these accounts from abroad is a huge capital that the government is able to utilise in various kinds of projects for country’s development. Diaspora thus contributes to the economic development of India.
Many well-off Non-Residents are participating in the private business ventures directly and indirectly. The current boom in India’s share market, to some extent is due to the bulk share purchase of various listed companies by the NRIs. This is indirect participation in Indian industries. Some listed public sector enterprises are also favourite of these investors. It is also said that many NRIs are buying residential and commercial properties in India.
This is one of the factors why the prices of real estate have gone up during the last decade or so. The diaspora is particularly interested in buying offices, chambers and shops in multiplexes in metropolitan cities, state capitals, district centres and other major cities in India. This has given a big boost to real estate sector and helped several people connected with housing, construction, furniture and other equipment business.
It has often been said that the people who settle abroad lack love, partriotism and nationalistic feeling towards India. Instead of serving the society and the country which have nurtured their talents, they prefer to seek greener pastures abroad. Forgetting their duty towards their society, they are lured by heavy pay packets, perks and facilities provided by foreign countries. They are attracted by the infrastructure and comforts generally enjoyed by the people in the advanced countries of Europe, America, Australia and elsewhere.
They pay scant attention to the fact that India at the threshold of its fast socio-economic development needs engineers, doctors, business managers, entrepreneurs, teachers and other professionals in large numbers. Most of the qualified people prefer to seek employment abroad. Even those students who get admission in foreign universities and go there to get higher education don’t prefer to come back to India after completing their education.
The foreign countries take advantage of their desire to stay by offering those jobs and utilise their services for their development-increase in manufacturing, improvement in services, expansion of businesses and creation of further employment for local people. This act of going abroad and settling there is popularly known as brain drain. It has really harmed India a lot.
There is a great shortage of qualified and capable personnel in every sector. On the other hand, a large number of engineers, doctors, IT and other professionals working in America and Europe are of Indian origin. Those countries are already developed and are further developing at a fast pace. Our country is still facing the problems of economic inequalities, poverty, lack of infrastructure, transportation and marketing facilities. To overcome these problems we need skilled human sources. If educated and qualified people keep on leaving the country to serve abroad, the problem will be further aggravated.
Some arguments can be given in favour of the diaspora also. Unemployment is the most serious problems our country is facing. According to a rough estimate about three crore people in India are unemployed. The persons who go abroad reduce the number of the unemployed. People who go to study or work abroad learn new technologies and get used to modern ways of production, scale.
They keep on visiting India off and on. They interact with local people sharing new ideas and techniques. In seminars, conferences and official visits, they reveal new ways of production, etc. enhancing the knowledge of Indian personnel. The ideas and techniques when implemented bring a vast improvement in the quality of indigenous production, which in turn boosts exports as high quality goods have better international market.
The Government of India has given several incentives to NRIs for investing their funds in India. They are exempt from several taxes and other charges. Preference is given to NRIs in allotment of houses/shops under public sector; NRI seats are reserved in all the medical, engineering and other professional colleges. These incentives attract the diaspora to invest liberally in India which helps India’s cause immensely. The Government of India has provided Indian citizenship to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) settled in America, Europe and Australia.
They may thus be having a dual citizenship-being the citizens of the country where they are living-as well as Indian citizenship. This has been done to acknowledge their importance for India. PIOs are also urged to contribute to India’s development by sending remittances from abroad, create markets for Indian products abroad, send latest technology to India, and help India’s cause in any manner they can.
The Indian diaspora is the great promoter of Indian culture abroad. The Indians living abroad have carried with them India’s traditions, customs, religious faiths, philosophy and festivals. They promote India’s life style in the countries they are living. The areas where a majority of our NRIs live look like mini India. The people of that country appreciate our customs and traditions. They eat regularly at Indian restaurants, visit our holy places like temples and gurdwaras, shop at the Indian stores adopting Indian fashion and attire and celebrate the festivals with the Indians.
The Indian diaspora has been appreciated by those countries for their contribution to local economy through hard work. These NRIs celebrate India’s national festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti with great patriotism. They are true ambassadors of India’s culture and philosophy abroad. India’s socio-economic development and spread of culture world wide owes a lot to our diaspora.