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Modi woos NRIs; PIO & OCI cards to be merged

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that his government has kept its promise to the non-resident Indians and it was now their turn to reciprocate. Inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gandhinagar Modi announced the merger of People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards. The Prime Minister said that everyone would get the same benefits as he knew about the problems faced by the Indian diaspora in the past.

Referring to merging of the PIO and OCI cards through a recent Ordinance and extending visa on arrival facilities for several countries, Modi said his government had fulfilled the promises made to them. Seeking deeper engagement of the Indian diaspora for the country’s growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thurday said a whole lot of possibilities were awaiting them in India as it had risen with new strength. Making it clear that it was not only the Pound Sterling and the Dollars that the government was interested in, Modi asked the diaspora to help in transforming India. He said, those who want to work, there is a lot you can do.

Talking about issues relating to Overseas Indians, the Prime Minister said a mechanism for travel authorisation through electronic means had been put in place to ease travel to India by the diaspora community. Modi said the rule requiring PIO card holders to visit the local police station for verification every week had been done away with.

President of Guyana Donald R Ramotar, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Gujarat Governor Prof OP Kohli and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel were among those present at the event.

The Prime Minister said that the whole world was looking at India with great expectation. Describing Indian diaspora as great capital for the country, the Prime Minister appealed to the community of over 25 million people living in over 200 countries to help transform the nation.
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