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PM Encourages NRIs to Invest in India
Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Inaugurating the sixth Prasar Bharti Divas, The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, appealed to India's vast NRI population, estimated to be 25 million spread over 130 countries, to make an investment of their varied knowledge in India.
Inviting them to be a part of the "Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin," he said that the council aims to draw upon the experience and knowledge of the "best Indian minds".

Addressing a gathering of around 1500 delegates from 15 countries, the Prime Minister said that the council would comprise People of Indian Origin (PIO) from a variety of disciplines and who are recognised as leaders in their respective fields, not only in their country of residence but also at the global level.

He also talked about women achievers like Indira Nooyi, Sunita Williams, Kalpana Chawla and Jhumpa Lahiri who have made the country proud and are seen as role models for society to give women a rightful place. In an allusion to recent incidents of attacks and harassment of Indians in some countries, he identified security and welfare of Indian residents living abroad as a top priority for India's diplomatic missions and asked community leaders to develop better liaison with Indian missions to serve them better. He also acknowledged the contribution of the Indian community in the USA in gathering support for the political leadership of that country for the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

Dr Singh informed the NRIs of the overseas Indian affairs ministry's proposal to set up the India Development Foundation as a non-profit trust to serve as a credible institutional mechanism that would "direct overseas Indian philanthropic propensities into human development in the country". He said the government has approved the policy framework for setting up a PIO university in India for the benefit of children of Indians from across the globe, a proposal he had announced last year.

Dr Singh also announced the launch of an "Overseas Workers Resource Centre" which would provide relevant information and assistance to potential migrant workers and operate a multi-lingual help line for grievance redress and intervention for overseas Indian workers in distress. "Estimated at about five million, they are mostly located in the Gulf and South East Asia and play an important role in India's economy," he said, acknowledging the $26 billion the overseas workers remit to India every year.

The minister for overseas Indian affairs, Mr Vayalar Ravi, said the government would allow qualified NRI professionals to work in India as part of its efforts to use the diaspora's expertise in different fields. "Our approach is to permit overseas Indian professionals like doctors, dentists, architects and chartered accountants the opportunity to work in India."

The Mauritius Prime Minister, Mr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, the chief guest, said: "There is a new vibrancy, vitality, confidence and hope in this country and it is palpable to everyone visiting India. My plea to Indian diaspora is to grab this opportunity and get involved with India and one another. We owe it to this country."



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