News headlines

Day Two

Monday, January 8, 2007

KEL Media Release
Daijiworld Media Network - Global

KEL Delegation Meets Karnataka Industries Minister Naidu

New Delhi:  The lead members of Kanara Entrepreneurs Ltd., led by its President Ivan Fernandes with Jerome Saldanha, James Mendonca, Frank Fernandes and Albert Rodrigues, met the Karnataka industries minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, principal secretary K Shivakumar and the commissioner of industries and commerce Rajkumar Khatri during the working session of the states on the 2nd day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi. 

The delegation with overseas indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi

The lead members expressed their interest to know on the progress of economic development within the coastal belt of Karnataka and spelt their objectives in promoting entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to people in that region. 
They also spoke on the deteriorating situation on the overall road infrastructure in Mangalore and its surroundings and the various delays faced by the investors interested in the development of the coastal region.

The delegation also apprised the minister of the status of the Mangalore IT SEZ and its impact on the SEZ project promoted by KEL.

In the afternoon, the delegation also met union minister for overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi and updated him on the role of KEL in promoting the coastal region of Karnataka as well as their initiatives in promoting entrepreneurship among the people of this region. 

The delegation with Karnataka industries minister Katta Subramanya Naidu (sporting a cap)

Earlier, during the plenary session the chief ministers of various states provided the opportunities for NRI investors in their respective states.  The Karnataka delegation was led by industries minister Subramanya Naidu who described the lead that Karnataka enjoys in its first mover advantage in the various fields of IT/ITES and manufacturing industry by having leaders set up their plants in the state and described the friendly policy and procedures adopted by the state government.

Naidu further said that Karnataka was in the process of setting up around 32 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) within the state to promote various industries and three of these SEZs  - namely the Oil and Natural Gas SEZ, Mangalore IT SEZ and Multi Product SEZ were being set up in Mangalore.  He also mentioned that Mangalore had recently been upgraded with facilities to handle international flights and the state wwould connect 12 destinations in Karnataka through various airports in the state.

The cultural event in the evening included dances by renowned dancer Shobna and musical evening by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his team. 

On Tuesday, January 9, the conference will conclude with a keynote address from president of India A P J Abdul Kalam.

Day One

Sunday, January 7, 2007

New Delhi, Jan 8: The 5th Bharatiya Pravasi Divas was inaugurated by prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on January 7, 2006. This event is organized by the government of India every year to get Non-resident Indians closer to their roots in India.

Kanara Entrepreneurs Ltd. led a delegation with five of its key lead members for the second year.  The main theme for this year is ‘Rooting for the roots – Meeting India’s Development Challenges’.  Around 1200 NRIs from 50 countries attend this event. The event will go on for three days from January 7 to 9.

The Kanara Entrepreneurs Limited delegation at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 

In his inaugural address, the prime minister highlighted the various contributions made by the NRIs towards the development of India – in particular the contribution of the American NRIs in getting the US government agree on the nuclear deal with India and the Gulf disapora which contributed around 50% of the remittances of US$ 2 billion last year.

Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, in his keynote address, gave details of the progress that his ministry had made in the past year.  The key aspects are the voting rights for non-resident Indians, signing of the MOU with the labour ministry of United Arab Emirates to protect the rights of labourers in the country and the progress on signing similar MOUs with the other heads of government in other Gulf States.

Ravi also mentioned that his ministry is working on setting up a separate university to cater to the children of NRIs and also to rehabilitate those workers who lose their jobs and return to their home country.  He also confirmed that the immigration act of 1983 which required a degree certificate for obtaining a ECNR status on the passport has been modified and now anybody with a matriculation will be able to obtain a ECNR.  The ministry is doing everything to eliminate fraudulent recruitment and ensure that the  labourers and maids in the Gulf countries are treated humanely and paid the salaries on time as per their agreement.

This was followed by a plenary session on Challenges of Development in the Global Conext.  C K Prahalad, renowned professor of Business Administration at the university of Michigan’s Business School, spoke on the opportunities for India and what India could achieve by 2025 provided our government acted promptly.  He said that by 2025, India would have at least 50 companies in the Global Forbes 500 companies worldwide and would have at least 10 Nobel laureates. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Governor of West Bengal, spoke about the two aspects of India – one the rapid growing and wealthy India and the other the unemployed and suffering rural India. He said that a bridge was needed to be built to have one India that would progress in the years ahead.

In the afternoon, several sessions on – Engaging PIOs in India’s development, Challenges and Opportunities in India;s Healthcare Development and Youth – Driving India’s Development were held.  Young MPs like as Sachin Pilot, Prithvi Raj Chavan (Minister of State, PMO) and Madhu Goud Yashki spoke on the roles that NRI youth could play in developing the youth of this country. India is a young country with an average age of under 30 and the youth had a significant role to play in the progress of India in the years to come. Hence moulding the youth in various key roles would be vital to the growth of India in years to come.

The next session was a parallel session on regional issues.  The Gulf region was one of the important regions and has  ministers including minister for overseas affairs Vayalvar Ravi, E Ahmed, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Jana Krishnamurthy.  The Gulf panel included several noted stalwarts from the Gulf including Yusuf Ali, Chairman EMEA Group in UAE.  They highlighted the various issues facing the Gulf NRIs including labour issues and also the high prices demanded by India's own airlines during the peak periods to fly back home.  The minister was aware of most of the issues and gave an update on the progress on each of the issues and said that he was confident of resolving most of the issues this year.

The evening was marked by a wonderful cultural programme at Talkotra Indoor Stadium with the various dances from each of the states, followed by dinner. 

The next two days will highlight various investment opportunities in the various states and how the Indian diaspora can be included more in the development of India.


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