FDI means first develop India: Vintage Modi woos diaspora

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi today emphasised the role of the Indian diaspora in the development of the country and thanked them for supporting the Indian government in its steps against corruption and black money.

Remittances by overseas Indians, running at close to $69 billion annually, make an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy, said Modi.

The Youth PBD 2017, with focus on "Redefining engagement with the Indian Diaspora", is being attended by delegates from 72 countries and registration has crossed 7,200 as of yesterday, officials said.

Asserting that the BJP-led NDA Government is committed to ensure welfare and safety of the Indian diaspora, the Prime Minister said that administrative arrangements have been strengthened to ensure the same.

He praised Indian living overseas for their hard work and described them as disciplined, law abiding and peace loving citizens, and an inspirational for all the other people. This year, Indian origin Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa was the chief guest.

"Even as the government and its agencies deal with this issue, the concerns of this particular section can be most effectively addressed by the local community organisations", he said. "Sushma Swaraj ji, has particularly been proactive and prompt in reaching out to distressed Indians overseas using social media", he said.

Indians are one of the largest expatriate community amounting to about 31.7 millions in the world.

"... You might have noticed and heard that we have taken up a big fight against black money".

Black money and corruption are making our polity, society and administration hollow gradually, says Modi. The convention provides a platform for the Indian diaspora to engage with the Government of India and apprise themselves about policies, developments and opportunities in the country. I thought it was only here that if you step out of your house, people ask you what caste you are, if you step out of your village people ask you what language you speak, and you are only Indians when you went overseas.

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from the U.S. led the list of 30 persons conferred the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards by President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday.

He said the Smart Cities Mission, Digital India, Skill India, Start-Up India and Swacch Bharat campaign were the Narendra Modi government's flagship programmes for building a prosperous, skilful, enterprising, clean and futuristic country. "We don't see the colour of passports but our relationship bound by blood", Modi said at the 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

"We have taken several steps to safeguard immigration of Indian workers overseas".

- A year ago 5000 Indians participated in know India quiz.

"NRIs and PIO have made outstanding contributions". He added that worshippers of black money were casting the move as "anti-people".

"Will you please help me in this mission?"

  • Annette Adams