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Oscar Fernandes vows increased outreach to NRIs
November 21, 2005 23:09 IST
Newly-appointed Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Oscar Fernandes Monday said an increased outreach to Non Resident Indians would be one of the key priorities in his new portfolio.
"I think we can provide them with more facilities, create more opportunities for them to set up industry back home and declare some more free economic zones in consultation with other departments and ministries," he told reporters after taking charge. He also pledged to eliminate bottlenecks to dual-citizenship efforts for NRIs across the world.
"We will try to remove the bottlenecks. But it depends upon how other countries respond to the Indian moves," the Minister remarked. Fernandes said his ministry would also explore areas that require support of the country's former citizens who have built their lives abroad.
Also, efforts will be directed at creating a conducive environment for NRIs intending to reconnect to their heritage, he added, citing reports about some Indians settled abroad visiting their native country for economical and quality medical treatment and education.
"The Prime Minister is also very much interested in the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (to he held in January), which will be a good occasion to discuss various issues facing NRIs," Fernandes said. His predecessor Jagdish Tytler, who quit the post after being named in the Nanavati report on the 1984 riots, was also present when Fernandes assumed office.