CHICAGO – Praising overseas Indians for their hard work, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the community members through their soft power have increased the stature of India at international arena.
Mukherjee, who met with the community members at a breakfast meeting at Hotel Peninsula said, “The respect that India has been able to command at the international arena has come in no small measure by this soft power of the overseas Indian, who the world over are known for their values of hard work, of excellence and enterprise and respect for their communities and adopted countries.”
He said the government is introducing various schemes for the benefit of its citizens abroad.
“As an important step is the government notification for registration of overseas Indians under the Representation of People Act 1950. A bill intended to merge and streamline the People of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India schemes by amending the Citizenship Act has been introduced in the last session of our Parliament,” the minister added.
“For potential emigrants, the government has put in place an end-to-end computerised solution for all processes in the emigration system. It will link key stakeholders on a common platform and will be used by workers, offices of the protector of emigrants, recruitment agencies, immigration officials, employers and the Indian missions abroad.
“India is also in the process of negotiating Social Security agreements with the major countries where Indian workers are headed with a view to securing their rights and benefits while they live in the country of their choice and also retain benefits due to them when they return,” he added.
He said the country’s impressive economic growth has not been fully reflected in social indicator and highlighted the need of engaging social enterprises in a proactive manner.
“India’s economic achievements over the last decade has been impressive and encouraging. But on our social indicators much remains to be done. In that respect there is an urgent need to engage in social enterprises in a proactive manner,” he said.
“Indian economy is expected to grow over 7 per cent in the financial year ending March 31, 2012. Though this is considerably lower than the GDP growth rate of 8.5 per cent recorded last year, in the medium term, we hope to revert to our new trend growth of around 9 per cent on account of strong domestic economic fundamentals,” he added.