By Pankaj Yadav
Two of the world’s richest men – Bill Gates and Warren Buffett visited India on Tuesday, giving way to speculations of more US’ investments in the country. Buffett, whose group recently entered the Indian insurance market, said that he was looking forward to making investments in large countries like India.
According to their latest standing in the Forbes list of billionaires, Microsoft chief Gates stands at second position with a total worth of USD 56 billion, while Berkshire Hathaway chief Buffett is adjudged third with USD 50 billion. Incidentally, both are Americans.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi during his maiden visit, Buffett said his home country would benefit from the economic rise of countries like India and China, and added that he was looking forward to making investments in large countries like India.
Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate chaired by Buffett, recently forayed into the Indian non-life insurance sector as a corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz General. India currently allows only 26 per cent foreign investment in insurance business, but a proposal is underway to increase it to 49 per cent.
Buffett is in India as part of his philanthropic initiatives, and is also expected to look at possible investment opportunities in the country.
Microsoft chief Bill Gates has been visiting India twice a year for quite some time, and has been involved in many a philanthropic activities like HIV/ AIDS control, Polio vaccination efforts, and other immunization programmes. He met India’s Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and discussed various health programmes going on in the country with his financial support.
He reportedly appreciated the efforts made by India’s Health and Family Welfare Ministry in containing the Polio and HIV cases, and also offered that his Foundation (the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation) would be happy to help with comprehensive family planning services as the Ministry would deem fit.