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‘UK visa pinch hits investment from India’

Hindujas told PM Cameron Indian entrepreneurs were migrating to more investor-friendly areas.

Citing problems like securing UK visas and the country’s high taxes,prominent NRI industrialists Hinduja brothers have cautioned Prime Minister David Cameron that Indian entrepreneurs were migrating to more investor-friendly destinations such as Dubai and Geneva.

In remarks to British newspapers,Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja have said that Cameron’s efforts to forge closer ties with booming India were failing owing to rising taxes and lengthy visa delays for Indians.

“We strongly believe Britain can play an important role and we shouldn’t lose that opportunity. Today Indians can bring great investment into the UK. But there are visa problems – don’t you think that becomes a barrier to investment? If taxes keep growing,that’s a barrier to the new investor,” Gopichand Hinduja told The Daily Telegraph.

The brothers who preside over a multi-billion pounds empire across various countries said high taxes,restrictive property laws and a prohibitive visa regime were driving away potential Indian investors in Britain.

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They told The Times: “Rising taxes and lengthy visa delays for Indians were deterring investment in Britain.

Something is wrong with the model. His (Cameron’s) visits,his signals are good but they don’t percolate down the line”.

Gopichand said that some of his Indian friends in London had already “started migrating to other destinations like Dubai and Geneva. Many of my friends have disappeared from the UK”.

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He wanted Cameron to seek advice from leading British-Indian businessmen on how to boost trade with India.

“There’s something wrong and they should invite some of the overseas Indians with British passports who are committed to Indo-UK relations and seek their views,” he said.

The Hinduja brothers control one of India’s biggest industrial conglomerates that includes Gulf Oil,Ashok Leyland and one of India’s top private banks,IndusInd.

First published on: 23-03-2012 at 12:26 IST
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