New Delhi, Jan 8 A new proposal to issue infrastructure bonds to overseas Indians will give a fresh investment option to ordinary Indian investors abroad, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said Friday.
"It is a very good proposal. We can give the middle class Indian community abroad an opportunity to invest in the road construction sector in the country, which will see high growth," Ravi said at a press conference in the course of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2010, the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora, here.
The proposal came up during the meeting of the Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council here Thursday ahead of the eighth edition of the PBD.
The proposal was also mooted by Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath at a plenary session of the PBD Friday.
"There is a lot of scope for investment in the road construction sector in India in the years to come," Ravi said.
"In the 11th Five-Year Plan, $435 billion has been allocated for roads," he noted.
However, he pointed out, for these bonds to actually materialise, the concurrence of the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry would be needed.
Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in his inaugural speech at the PBD Friday that overseas Indian passport-holders might get to vote by the time the next elections are held in India, Ravi said that a bill to this effect has already been introduced in parliament.
"What is required is an amendment to the Representation of People Act. That is all," the minister said.