Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged Indian-origin people abroad to act as a catalyst in India’s growth and said his government was ushering in “irreversible” and “far reaching” reforms in key sectors to boost the country’s economy. In his address at the first conference of Indian-origin parliamentarians, Modi said “reform to transform” has been the guiding principle of his government and the aim was to make the system accountable and root out corruption. The day-long PIO Parliamentarian conference was attended by 134 elected representatives from 24 countries. “In the last three-four years, the world’s impression about India has changed. The focus on us is increasing. The main reason for change in world’s focus towards India is because India itself is changing, it is transforming,” Modi said.
He said the country has moved away from the attitude that things will remain as they were and nothing will change. Listing various policy initiatives of the government to boost economy and generate employment, the prime minister said the World Bank, the IMF and rating agency Moody’s were looking at India in a very positive way. He said major reforms measures were initiated in all major sectors including mining, textiles, aviation, health care, defence, real estate and food processing.
“Expectations of people of India at present is at highest level. You will see result of irreversible changes in every sector. And because of it, we received USD 60 billion FDI in 2016-17,” he said. Modi called on Indian-origin people to be partners in India’s development and act as a catalyst in the country’s growth. “We consider the diaspora as our partners in India’s development. The action agenda 2020 prepared by Niti Aayog has given special place to overseas Indians,” he said and urged Indian-origin people abroad to play the role of a catalyst for it.
Modi said when the the world is divided by ideologies, the diaspora can tell the world about India’s inclusive philosophy of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’. “When concerns are rising in the world about extremism and radicalisation, you can tell the world about message of India’s tradition of respect to all religions,” he said. He also talked about India’s ancient holistic living, saying this can address world’s rising concerns about health care.
Complimenting the Indian-origin people for their contribution, the prime minister said that while many people may have left India over the course of hundreds of years, India continues to have a place in their minds and hearts. Modi said it appears as if a “mini world Parliament” of Indian-origin lawmakers has gathered in Delhi today.
He said the PIOs are like permanent ambassadors of India, wherever they reside. The prime minister praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for continuously keeping an eye on issues being faced by Indian citizens abroad. Modi said that India has very close ties with ASEAN countries, which will be showcased on the Republic Day on January 26.