External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday appealed to the Indian diaspora to contribute to the country’s transformation as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through investments, especially in government initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Swachch Bharat’.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here, Swaraj said the government was taking a slew of steps to ensure that investing and doing business in India for them becomes simpler and easier.
“Over the next few years, foreign investment is necessary . . . We want you, the young Pravasis, to contribute to the development of India. We want you to participate in the vision that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has for the India’s future. We have launched several initiatives that have the potential to transform India,” she said in her inaugural speech.
“Come, connect, celebrate and contribute for transforming India,” She added.
Swaraj said the government has undertaken programmes like the Make in India initiative, Jan Dhan Yojana, Clean Ganga Campaign, Swachch Bharat Abhiyan which promise big changes in the landscape, but may need investments.
“To enhance ease of doing business, the government has taken multiple steps to simplify procedures, rationalise rules and increased use of technology. Efforts are on to identify laws which need to be repealed”, she pointed.
“There is also a clear focus of infrastructure and financing of infrastructure,” the minister said, promising that the government is committed to the highest standards of transparency and integrity.
She said that there is a new dynamism in the economy and the formation of a strong government at the Centre has only added to the excitement due to its “investor-friendly measures”.
“The government is working in mission mode, you can contribute and become a partner,” she said.
The 13th edition of the flagship congregation of diaspora is coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi arriving back to India from South Africa in 1915, to eventually lead the country towards attaining freedom.
Referring to Gandhi’s journey as a 24-year-old across the country before his jump into the freedom movement, She said it is essential for the young diaspora to learn more about the problems plaguing the country before contributing towards the nation development.
Swaraj also appealed to the diaspora to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the country, pointing to the contributions of Indians like giving ‘zero’ to the world, knowledge of medicine with Ayurveda and higher learning as seen at the University of Takshashila of the ancient India.
Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal asked the young people in the diaspora to “preserve” Indian values such as the importance of the family.
He said a stable family leads to a stable society which in turn makes the entire country stable and hence, stronger.