Next PM should not worry about few industrialists: Lord Paul

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NRI-industrialist Lord Swaraj Paul has hoped that the new Prime Minister will "not worry" about a "few industrialists" and run a government that thinks for the poor.

"We are present here at the time of the elections which is a great time because it is the largest democracy in the world and a very stable democracy. Whether it is India Shining or Incredible India it has failed the poor of the country. So elect a government that thinks for the poor," Lord Paul said at a conference organised by University of Wolverhampton here on Wednesday.

"Let us hope that whoever the Indian people elect (to be the Prime Minister) will do a good job... I hope that whoever wins, makes it a point not just to worry about a few industrialists but the 1.2 billion people of India," he earlier told PTI.

He was asked about the prospects of BJP-led NDA coming to power under the stewardship of Narendra Modi. "It is from you people (media) that I learn who is going to be the next Prime Minister," he quipped.

On the UK government's controversial 3,000-pounds proposed "security bond" for some "high-risk" foreign visitors, including those from India, which has now been scrapped, Lord Paul termed it as a "very, very wrong and restrictive policy".

The scheme, which was scheduled to be implemented on a pilot scale in November last year, was dropped after strong reservations were voiced over it.

India had conveyed its serious concern about the scheme to the British government both at the ministerial and official levels.

The aim of the scheme was to reduce the number of people from some "high risk" countries - including India, Pakistan, and Nigeria - staying in the UK once their short-term visa had expired.

Lord Paul, who is also the Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton and University of Westminster, quoted a recent report which pegged the annual economic output generated by universities in England at 73 billion pounds.

"This is a significant contribution to the British economy, and does not take complete account of the additional economic value created from engagement with businesses," he said while addressing the conference.

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