The government is not reaching out to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) because "we need your money", Ahluwalia said while answering an audience query at the end of an interaction with Chief Ministers on 'Inclusive Growth' on the concluding day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas function here.
He said that as an economist he would suggest that overseas Indians not invest in the country if they feel their money can be better invested elsewhere.
"But take interest in India. Exciting things are happening here," Ahluwalia said.
Rather than investing in India, he said that NRIs should give a holiday package to their children.
"Let them discover what is going on in the country of their origin," he urged.
He suggested that even if a visit to India is for pilgrimage, it should be accompanied by a "pure holiday".
"That is the most useful thing to do," he added.
Ahluwalia, who was responding to a query about the quest for NRI investment when there were reports of illegal wealth from India having been stashed away in foreign tax havens, said money laundering was not a problem specific to India.
Ahluwalia said that the government would be happy to receive any specific information about cases of money laundering.
"If there is specific information, the Finance Minister will be happy to hear it," he said to applause from the gathering.
Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said that the government was not asking overseas Indians to come to the country to attract investment. "It is a get together," he said.
He said that NRI's share in the total foreign direct investment in India was about 1.3 percent.
New Delhi: The Indian government is not reaching out to NRIs for their money but wants them to take more interest in this country, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here on Sunday, adding that overseas Indians should send their children on holidays to discover the land of their origin.
First Published: Sunday, January 09, 2011, 15:16