Jaipur, Jan 8 (ANI): Asserting that the Indian diaspora has much more to contribute to the building of modern India, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Sunday said that the Government has decided to introduce and sponsor a new pension and life insurance fund for overseas Indian workers.
Inaugurating the tenth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, Dr. Singh said: I am happy to inform you that the government has decided to introduce and sponsor a new Pension and Life Insurance Fund for overseas Indian workers."
"The scheme will encourage, enable and assist overseas workers to voluntarily save for their return and resettlement and old age. It will also provide a low-cost life insurance cover against natural death. This scheme fulfills a long pending demand of our workers abroad," he added.
Emphasising that the government and people of India recognize and greatly value the important role being played by Indian communities living abroad, Dr. Singh said: "We believe that the Indian diaspora has much more to contribute to the building of modern India. We propose to facilitate, encourage and promote this engagement. Over the past year we have taken a number of steps towards this end."
"Pursuant to the law that was enacted to enable non-resident Indians to vote in our national elections, the Government has issued notifications for registration of overseas Indians under the Representation of People Act, 1950. This constitutes the first major step to enable Indians resident abroad to participate in our election processes," he added.
He further said that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is implementing the e-migrate project that will provide end-to-end computerized solutions for all processes in the emigration system.
"The system will link all key stakeholders on a common platform which will be used by workers, offices of the protector of emigrants, recruitment agencies, immigration officials, employers and the Indian missions abroad," he added.
Stating that we are acutely conscious of the safety and security of Indians living abroad, particularly in regions characterized by instability, Dr. Singh said: "There are over six million Indians living in the Gulf and West Asia. We need to be alert to the unfolding developments in this part of the world. We have conveyed to the countries of the region that we have a stake in the peace and stability of this region, and that we expect that they would appropriately look after the interests of Indian communities in their countries."
"Following the upheaval in Libya last year, the Government undertook Operation Safe Homecoming to evacuate more than 16,000 people from the strife torn areas through special flights, passenger and naval vessels. Similar evacuations were carried out in Egypt and Yemen on a lower scale. We stand ready to extend such help elsewhere should the need arise," he added.
Further welcoming the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Singh said we are privileged to welcome one of the most distinguished Pravasi Bharatiyas as our Chief Guest.
"Madam Kamla Persad-Bissessar created history by becoming the first woman Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. She distinguished herself in her earlier careers in education and law. Subsequently, she responded to the call of public service and proved what a person of talent, dedication and commitment can achieve anywhere in this world.
"In Madam Kamla Persad Bissessar today we also seek to honour the large Indian diaspora in the Caribbean. We are proud of their achievements. Their journey, often in very difficult circumstances, to those far-away lands began many, many years ago, but their links with India remain strong and deep. Our shared passion for cricket is well known. Which Indian sports fan does not know the names of cricketing legends like Brian Lara or Sonny Ramadhin," he added. (ANI)