India Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (22) described NRIs as India’s brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country’s capabilities.
Modi made this statement while inaugurating the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency.
“I consider NRIs India’s brand ambassadors. They are the symbols of our capacities and capabilities. People of Indian origin are in leadership roles in countries such as Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland,” he said.
Referring to a remark by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on only 15 paise of Rs one was reaching the masses, Modi said the Congress government had done nothing to stop the leakage. Modi added that his government had stepped in to rectify the situation. The “85 per cent loot” taking place during the Congress regime had been plugged “100 per cent” through technology, he said.
“We have given about Rs 5,80,000 crore to people, transferred to their bank accounts through various schemes. Imagine, if the country was being run on the older system? Then Rs 4,50,000 crore would have vanished,” Modi said.
Further attacking the Congress, Modi said efforts to stop the “leakage” could have been made earlier. “Our government is moving towards ensuring that the aid given by government is directly transferred to beneficiary accounts through direct benefit schemes,” he said.
The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Varanasi was also attended by Mauritian Premier Pravind Jugnauth, who was the chief guest.
He praised Modi for India’s transformation through initiatives such as the Skill India and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao schemes.
The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’.