‘Our government has decided 100% Foreign Direct Investment in the railways’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday in Australia at Allphones Arena, Sydney.
Addressing a frenzied crowd of around 20,000 in the packed Allphones Arena here, Modi took a dig at the previous governments saying while they were happy to make laws he was “happier to remove” them.
PM Modi also assured a visa on arrival facility for Australian tourists and announced a two-month deadline for the long-pending merger of OCI and PIO status to woo the Indian diaspora from whom he sought support for his ambitious Clean India campaign.
“Let’s open the windows let fresh air come in,” Modi said referring to his government’s efforts to weed out obsolete laws.
PM Modi had announced merger of PIO and OCI during his visit to the US in September but had not given a timeline then.
The Prime Minister also referred to economic reforms unveiled by his government and said India has become an attractive destination for investment.
The Prime Minister called upon Indians across the world to convert the atmosphere of hope and optimism into a reality of meeting the expectations and aspirations of people in India.
PM referring to Swami Vivekananda’s dream of seeing Mother India as a ‘Vishva Guru’ once again said that he believes that dream would be a reality.
PM Modi also highlighted the values of democracy and the love for cricket that India and Australia share.
The Prime Minister exhorted people to recognise the strength of India’s democracy.
Talking about the strength of democracy, he said “Look at the strength of democracy. Would I have been here if it weren’t for democracy? The power of this democracy brought me here.”
“Let us now do all we can for India’s benefit. And then India will work for the benefit of mankind,” he said.
“Governments cannot make a country. People make a country,” he said.
The Prime Minister also stressed on the Clean India campaign saying that more tourists would come if the country was cleaner.
PM said that while “some people” dream of doing only big things he was interested in doing “small things” like building toilets and ensuring cleanliness.
Speaking about Jan Dhan scheme, he said 70 million bank accounts have been opened in the last 10 weeks under the scheme and a total of Rs 5,000 crore has been deposited by the account holders.
PM Modi also complimented Australia for its concept of dignity of labour. “I have always admired the concept of dignity of labour in Australia. Here, a research scientist can also drive a cab.”
PM Modi congratulated and complimented the Indian Australian community for working hard and making their “karmbhoomi” proud. He named prominent Indian-Australians who had excelled for Australia in sports and academics.