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Not just dollars, bring back love: PM

He says it's time for the NRIs to invest in India intellectually, culturally and emotionally also, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 10:58 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh feels time is ripe for the overseas Indian communities to invest in India in not merely financial terms — but also intellectually, socially, culturally and emotionally.

Inaugurating the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, the Prime Minister said India had emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies and there were enormous opportunities for cross-border flows of trade, capital and technology. "Your roots are what bring you here, but your branches are what will keep you engaged in India’s development saga," he told a gathering of expatriate Indians.

Putting up a strong defence of the Indo-US civil nuclear energy deal, Singh referred to the development as an important step not just in promoting Indo-US bilateral ties, but also as an essential step to enable engagement in the civil nuclear field with other Nuclear Suppliers’ Group countries. The process will increase the range of options available to secure our country’s growing current and future energy needs, he said.

Appreciating the Indian Asian community for the significant role played by it in highlighting the importance of India’s civil nuclear energy needs in the United States and elsewhere, the Prime Minister also complimented the non-resident communities in West Asia and other parts of the world for contributing their remittances in India.

An Indian Overseas Facilitation Centre — envisaged as an investment advisory services body — was being developed and examined, Dr Singh said while adding that the proposal to set up a Central Council for the Promotion of Overseas Employment was also being actively considered.

This council, he said, would devise an appropriate strategy to give shape to the idea of promoting India as a provider of skilled work force. He said the government was also engaged in devising requisite enabling framework to actualise the idea to set up an excellent university for Persons of Indian Origin (PIO).

Expressing gratitude for the support extended by Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea and other countries for the Nalanda project, Singh associated himself with Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo’s statement that the Nalanda project should emerge as an "icon of Asian Renaissance" and a "centre for dialogue and inter-faith understanding". The Prime Minister said India was committed to work for closer links with South East and East Asia as "our destinies are truly interlinked".

E-mail Srinand Jha: srinandjha@hindustantimes.com