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Help India become a giant, PM urges diaspora

M Shakeel Ahmed in Ankara | September 18, 2003 23:58 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday asked the Indian community abroad to help the country become a major industrial power of the world.

Complete coverage of Vajpayee's visit | More news reports

"It is not important which party is in power (in India). What is important is that the country has to march ahead along the path of progress and it is doing that," he said at a reception hosted in his honour by the Indian community in Ankara.

"The wave of development sweeping India is being seen from all parts of the world and India has to emerge as a major world power," he said.

"India today is not the India it was. It is a new India competing with other countries of the world and has emerged as the fourth largest economy of the world," he added.

"There was a time when we used to import food grains. But now we are exporting. Earlier, we used to take loans but now we give loans," he said.

Vajpayee said there was no inflation and prices were under control.

He referred to the recent drought in 14 states and said agriculture in the country was still dependent on the weather but efforts were on to diversify the sector.

Vajpayee acknowledged there was a shortage of pulses, the poor man's staple diet in India, but 'we are trying overcome it'.

Vajpayee said India's relations with other countries were growing and his current visit to Turkey was part of the exercise towards that.

The reception was attended by 250 members of the Indian community.

Earlier, Vajpayee visited a 'Made in India' exhibition where about 50 Indian companies are displaying their products.

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