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Indian-Americans want to aid infrastructure

Urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue 'Vibrant India' bonds to fund the sector

Kavita Chowdhury  |  New Delhi 

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to visit the US in September, the Indian-American community is keen to chip in with funds for India's infrastructural growth.

The US-India Political Action committee (USINPAC), an organisation of non-resident Indians (NRIs), asked the Modi government to issue "Vibrant India" bonds. The representatives of the group will visit India and engage with the Indian government.

USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri and Director India Affairs Robinder Sachdev have already met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Road, Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Puri said, "We have had extensive discussions on Wall Street with some of the financial institutions and also with leading members of the Indian diaspora on the viability of Vibrant India bonds. We have had an overwhelmingly initial positive response and stand ready to spread this initiative among the community in the US and other countries."

Puri says Vibrant India bonds could be the "big ticket" idea of Modi's visit, much in the manner that the US-India nuclear deal was for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The group has pegged India's financial requirement at $ 1.5 trillion to meet its infrastructural needs and is keen to contribute to this endeavour.

USINPAC has already been engaging with US Congressmen to build up momentum for the visit. The Indian diaspora in the US is attempting to build up momentum for a joint session of the US Congress and state dinner at the White House. 40 Congressmen and 20 senators have already signed a letter requesting the Speaker to hold a joint session for an address by Modi.

Former Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh have all addressed joint sessions of the Congress. Indian-American groups have been lobbying hard with the US administration to change the perception of Modi with the 2002 carnage. Modi was denied a visa by the US administration over his perceived role in the Gujarat riots.

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First Published: Sat, July 19 2014. 22:45 IST