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Vamsi has sent in some more stuff
Vamsi sent in this interview extracts from S.P.Hinduja. Some interesting
OVERSEAS Indians will line up with equity checks, says the chairman of
the Hinduja group of companies. And he promises to bring them in within
a year if the government allows. The mantra he suggests should be taken
up by the Finance Minister: ``Implementation, implementation,
implementation. Yester day and not tomorrow!'' S P Hinduja shares some
views with Nasima H Khan
Q: What do you feel about the PM's announcement on a PIO card?
A: It's a good start. But there should be a provision in it for the term
`of Indian origin'. The holder may be an Indian citizen or a
non-citizen, but the provision should be there. I don't know why people
are allergic to the concept of dual nationality. Dual nationality is a
The passport used to establish a person's nationality several decades
ago. But now it is nothing more than an identity card. Why so much fuss
about dual nationality? People in Europe claim even three nationalities;
it's very common. But the PIO card is a good start. It conveys a
sincerity, a concern for the issues facing overseas Indians..
Q: Why is it that Indians abroad are so successful, but India is yet to
catch up with the world?
A: There is nothing lacking in Indians. They have a lot of talent, a
deep-rooted entrepreneurship. But all this comes out best overseas. What
is lacking in India is free market facilities and free market policies.
If they were similar to those abroad, we would have a nation of
entrepreneurs - all 900 million people of India!
The Hinduja National Hospital (in Hyderabad), for example has world
class the doctors, we have only Indian doctors. And they are equal to
the best in the world. When we left India we did not go with any
fortune, we did not take any foreign exchange. All that we have done, we
have done with the same talent that other Indians have. We have
generated revenue. Now India is acknowledging this reality: that
overseas Indians can do something for our country.
Q: Do you think that India is moving too slowly?
A: India could move much faster. On the economic front, it has the
potential to surpass other countries but it isn't moving. Who is to
blame? Is it the politicians? Is it the businessmen? Is it the civil
servants? It is the protected economy of the last 50 years! that is to
be blamed and our socialist leaning due to necessity of the world
situation at that time.
Now it is time to change and in the past seven years, the process has
been set in motion. But it is slow as people are not willing to give up
power and greed -- businessmen bureaucrats, politicians! Second, there
is not enough experience or expertise. Third, coalition governments
cannot provide the stability or implementation needed for speeding up
development. For development, we need investment in infrastructure and
expertise, which will have to come from us Indians abroad.
Q: How can overseas Indians help?
A: Right now, the economy is too protected. There is no transparency and
accountability. The government should identify projects and introduce
equity -- as a qualification -- and then give clearance.
As I said in my speech at the Global Indian Entrepreneurs' Conference,
we Indians abroad have the expertise of a free market economy. Sometime
in the next year we would be happy to organise a meet and make all
leading overseas Indians available here, but not to talk shop. Our job
will be to bring checks for equity investment and the government's job
would be to clear the projects so we can take charge of the ventures.
Q: Do you feel that being of Indian origin means you have to invest in
A: No, not so. Every country has its problems. We, and I'm talking about
multinationals, always keep a watch for potential markets. India has it.
As for us, we have one basket of investment in India. If not today,
India will happen tomorrow. Indians can meet any challenge. And I am
saying this not because I'm an Indian but because we have conducted a
proper research and survey.
In Europe, democracy began in the 14th century. But Indians have always
had a tradition of democracy, of freedom of the mind. This is reflected
in the family, where three generations should be together - parents,
Once parents teach what there is of culture, tradition to children, they
draw away. Then of course there are the genes. There has to be freedom
in a family. If you have that freedom and creatvity, there can be no
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