KERALA GETS $30 M FOR NRI CITY

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After helping to successfully tie up a Rs 179-crore NRI township project in Bangalore, the ministry for affairs of overseas Indians is now facilitating a similar NRI city-in-city project in Kerala (near Coimbatore).

"Work has started on the project and $30 million FDI has flown in. The state government has also earmarked another 500 acres of land for it. We are in talks with other states like Andhra Pradesh, Himachal and Maharashtra to develop such NRI hubs,'' minister for overseas Indians affairs, Jagdish Tytler told ET.

"The Ahmedabad municipal authorities have earmarked 2000 acres of land for another NRI city-in-city,'' he added. These hubs would include real estate infrastructure, IT support, shopping malls and various other facilities.

Meanwhile, the new ministry for NRIs & PIOs is working with the law ministry to set up special courts to fast-track cases relating to them in India.

"We have also sorted out the issue of the dates of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2005 clashing with the Saarc summit. PBD will now be held in Mumbai between January 7 & 9, 2005 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate it. The focus this time will be on business as also the Indian diaspora in South East Asia in regions like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand,'' Tytler said. The Saarc summit is scheduled in Bangladesh between January 9 & 11.

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