Dubai: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the newly formed 'Karnataka NRI Forum – UAE' at a grand function hosted in Indian Consulate auditorium, Dubai, on Friday.
Dr. Arathi Krishna, Vice-President of NRI Forum, Govt. of Karnataka, and Padmashree Dr. BR Shetty, Honorary President of the Forum, along with President-elect Praveen Kumar Shetty, and the Indian Consulate General Vipul were present during the inauguration which was attended by several businessmen and leaders of various Karnataka based associations in UAE, and 36 registered founder members of the NRI Forum.
The programme started with a welcome note by Arathi Adiga, who compered the cultural programme organised by Vishwanath Shetty. It was followed by several entertainment programmes.
Later, Siddaramaiah along with the dignitaries arrived at the venue and unveiled the Karnataka NRI Forum UAE's logo.
Praveen Kumar Shetty welcomed the guests and spoke about the need for an NRI cell for Kannadigas. Praveen said for the past eight months he had been hearing a lot of grievances from Kannadigas, especially in UAE, who complained of a lack of forum to resolve issues. That led me to think about creating a forum, said Praveen, adding that with the help of MLA H Srinivas he met Siddaramaiah which eventually led to the formation of the NRI cell.
Speaking on the occasion, Honorary President Dr. BR Shetty said he was happy that the CM decided to attend the launch of the Karnataka NRI Forum. He invited non-resident Kannadigas to invest in Karnataka. Dr. Shetty said he had invested in a few ventures such as Jog Falls tourism development, a hospital in Udupi and also dialysis centres in all hospitals throughout Karnataka. He also added that the Abu Dhabi Government was very keen on investing in Karnataka.
Minister of Food and Civil Supplies UT Khader promised full cooperation to the KNRI – UAE and said the government would look into the grievances of all NRIs with due importance.
Speaking on the occasion, Siddaramaiah said that he was happy that Kannadigas in UAE had taken the initiative to form the first Karnataka NRI Forum in UAE. The CM said that any Kannadiga residing outside India should always remember that he is an Indian first and Kannadiga next.
Speaking about his government's achievements, Siddaramaiah said under his leadership, Karnataka had become a complaint-free state. "Karnataka now has become No. 1 investment friendly state for Indians. It is ranked No. 2 for foreign direct investments," said the CM.
Siddaramaiah promised full cooperation to the newly formed NRI Forum UAE.