08 January, Bengalauru
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said that Government will shortly launch a skill development program – Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana – targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment.
At Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the overseas Indian community to convert their PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) cards to OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) cards.
Addressing the main convention of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru today, Modi said, the government has extended the deadline for the conversion of cards from 31st December 2016 to 30th June 2017 without any penalty.
He said, starting with Mauritius, Government is working to put in place procedures so that descendants of Girmitiyas can become eligible for OCI cards. He said, the Centre is committed to address such difficulties of persons of Indian origin in Fiji, Suriname, Guyana and other Caribbean states. Modi said, from 1st January special counters have been set up at immigration points at Delhi and Bengaluru Airport for OCI card holders.
The Prime Minister said, Government wants to turn the brain drain into brain gain and the support of Non Resident Indians is very important in it. He said, remittances close to 69 billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to Indian economy.
Modi said, the government’s effort is to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience to the workers who seek economic opportunities abroad. He said, Indians staying abroad are respected not only for their strength in numbers but also for the contributions they make. He said, the embassies would reach out to the needy people of Indian origin whether it is medical and shelter issue or transportation of mortal remains of those who die abroad.
Modi thanked the Indian diaspora for their support in the government’s fight against corruption and black money. He said, it is unfortunate that India’s fight against corruption is being termed anti-people by some.
Chief Guest of the event Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa stressed the role of the Indian community’s contribution in Portugal. Costa said, he is proud that he is a person of Indian origin. Stressing his country’s geographic advantage, he said, Portugal wants to attract foreign direct investment.