Overseas Indians are considered to be the most successful communities in the world. They have made significant contributions to the economy by adding in considerable measure of knowledge and innovation. The majorly include Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs). They are the vital sources for foreign direct investments into the country. This way, they help in the progressive development of various segments of Indian economy.
India has the second largest Diaspora in the world. The overseas Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region of the world. It serves as an important bridge to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of country of origin. In India, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is a nodal organisation for the overseas Indians. It has been developing an inclusive agenda for the Diaspora to benefit from India's development, as well as drawing up a road map for establishing Indian Diaspora networks. It is engaged in several initiatives with overseas Indians in terms of promotion of trade and investment. It has also set up Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) for investment and business related activities. It has been conducting Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) for promotion of overseas Indians. While, at the State/ UT level, there are special NRI cell or facilitation centres for the welfare of overseas Indians, along with Department of Industries or Udyog Bandhu or Udyog Mitra.
The important law governing various features of foreign investment in India is the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA),1999, along with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy. As per the Act, NRI is a citizen of India resident outside India. While, PIO is an individual (not being a citizen of Pakistan/ Bangladesh/ Sri Lanka/Afghanistan/ China/ Iran/ Nepal/ Bhutan), who:- (i) at any time, held Indian passport; or (ii) who or either of whose father or grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955. While, there are various Industrial Policies and Industries Facilitation Acts in the States/ UTs concerned, which defines various business opportunities available for the investors.