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Working to remove bottlenecks in doing business: Rajnath to diaspora

By The Assam Tribune

Gandhinagar, Jan 9 (IANS): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today told the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here that the Narendra Modi government is working tirelessly to remove bottlenecks and cut red tape in order to improve the business environment in India.

Chairing a session on Investment Opportunities in Indian States at the PBD, the world's largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin, Singh said the country is "moving towards an era of cooperative federalism, giving voice to states in shaping the economic destiny of the nation".

He said with this objective in mind, the government had replaced the Planning Commission with the Niti Aayog from Jan 1 this year.

"In democracy, we follow the dictum of collective wisdom and collective responsibility. I am confident that our collective wisdom will help us in overcoming any differences," he said.

He said the new government headed by Modi has already taken a series of measures to re-ignite the economy.

"We have reasons to be optimistic as we are constantly making course corrections to gain investor confidence," he said.

Singh said the 'Make in India' initiative is a "mission to transform this country from an importer of manufactured items to an exporter of manufactured products".

The objective is to increase the share of manufacturing in the GDP from the current level of 14 percent to 25 percent.

Singh said the prime minster "is focused on improving the business environment in the country and has stressed on the mantra of 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance'".

He said the government is seriously pursuing early implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which "will create a buoyant source of revenue and create a large common market by eliminating internal barriers".

He said a decision has been taken to allocate natural resources only through e-auction to ensure transparency. "Such measures are necessary to rebuild confidence and trust that is extremely important to revive investments and drive higher growth," Singh said.

The home minister said India "has a vast pool of natural resources and skilled human resources to make this country a 'New Manufacturing Hub'. The people of Indian origin and the NRIs should invest in actualizing the dream of 'Make in India'.

India's progress can not be achieved only by the people living within the country," he said and urged the diaspora to "come and invest" in the country and become an "active partner in our definitive march towards prosperity and in making India a global superpower".

Singh reminded how Modi's promise of merging the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards has been fulfilled.

"He (Modi) said that you had to go to police stations during your India visits and he promised that he will remove the discrepancies. I am happy to say that the president has signed the ordinance to that effect," the home minister said.

Singh said that 25 million Indian diaspora live in different countries and "with your hard work, dedication and skill you have created a place for yourselves. I want to say that we are proud of you, you are an example of India's indomitable spirit".

Chief ministers of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana's Manoharlal Khattar, Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Jharhand's Raghubar Das, Maharashtra's Devendra Fadnavis and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy attended the session.

The event is being held in Gandhinagar Jan 7-9 to mark the centenary of the return to the country of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa.

Guyana President Donald Ramotar, chief guest at the 13th PBD, will be honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Friday evening.

The government also announced a list of 15 NRIs who would be conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards for 2015. The list includes Guyana President Donald Rabindernauth Ramotar and Satyanarayana Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

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