NEW YORK (TIP): Acting Consul General Dr. Devyani Khobragade arranged a one-on-one meeting at the Indian Consulate in New York to welcome any inputs and suggestions that the Indian businesses set up in New York had preceding the Finance Minister’s visit. The event was attended by representatives of companies such as Wipro, ICICI, UBS, Incredible India, Andhra Bank, Kotak, Bank of Baroda, among others. Dr. Khobragade highlighted that the immediate focus of the Indian government in the next quarter is to attract investors from the US. She also explained that the FM’s visit will encourage investments from the sectors of sustainable development, energy, trade, education, health and nuclear power. Dr. Khobragade said, “This is the multifaceted dialogue that we are conducting with the US government. Our immediate focus will of course be to get investments and facilitate infrastructure deals.
We plan to take all the problems that we face here in our business houses and highlight them to the US government, including requests to apply leniency in many regulations.” The attendees highlighted a few points that need to be included in the agenda for the FM’s visit. Sujata R. Thakur, Incredible India’s Regional Director for the Americas highlighted the adverse effects of the periodic travel advisories that United States publishes. “Most of them are released during October and that is our key tourist season. This has a very diverse effect on the number of tourists wanting to visit India.” B.B. Joshi, Chief Executive of US Operations at the Bank of India asked the CG to request the FM to review the role of regulations in the banking industry. “Our biggest concern is the FATCA regulation.
And the Finance Minister’s visit is very timely in that matter. It will be very beneficial if this matter could be taken by the FM during his meetings with the US government.” Manish Mehta, President and CEO of Kotak International requested the Indian Consulate to overlook the portrayal of India in the international news media. “Ever since 2011, since India started to do badly, many major international publications have been carrying only negative stories about India. And the recent rape case also has tarnished the reputation further.We cannot risk investors coming in because of bad reputation.” Dr. Khobragade admitted to the situation but asserted the government’s limitation in managing the press. “We are not authorized to micromanage the press even at home.
As far as the international media is concerned we cannot exert our rights there either.What we can do is convene a press address with the international media where we will get an opportunity to highlight some of the positives of our country and its economic situations.” The attendees also spoke for the review of H1B and Green Card laws meant for Indians. The Acting CG agreed to carry all the viewpoints forward and address them to both US and Indian governments respectively.