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Modi's decisions make the diaspora feel truly welcome, says Lord Swraj Paul

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London (Sept 29, 2014): Welcoming the series of steps for NRIs announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, industrialist Lord Swraj Paul on Monday said it was for the first time in three decades that the Indian diaspora is feeling that their contribution to the country has been recognised.

“I congratulate Mr Modi on his speech and all of us are grateful to him,” Paul said.

He said it was the first time in three decades that the NRI community is feeling that their contribution to India has been recognised and they have been made to feel full members of the Indian community.

He said that in 1983, a large part of the business and political establishment in India, supported by vested interests, derided the Non-Resident Indians as being not wanted.

“The NRI community now hope that these people will understand the opportunity that has been missed as to how much could have been contributed to the country in those years,” Paul said in a statement.

“I am sure the Indian diaspora will now respond to Mr Modi’s call as the NRIs feel very proud of being Indians,” he said.

What the Premier has called “small gestures” are actually big step forward and “we are all proud of Mr Modi as Prime Minister,” Paul, Chairman of Caparo Industries, said.

The Indian diaspora would like to see a strong, clean and healthy India, he said.

“The NRIs are committed to seeing India forge ahead as a strong nation and they are the best ambassadors for India,” he said.

“My heartfelt congratulations to Mr Modi on his commitment, his vision and his passion to see India take its rightful place in the world. We will all pledge to work hard to make this a reality,” Paul said.

In his address to NRIs at the Madison Square Garden in New York, Modi, currently on a five-day visit to the US, announced the merger of PIO and Overseas Citizens of India schemes to facilitate hassle-free travel to the Indian diaspora.

He also said that PIO card holders staying in India on long-term basis will no longer have to report to the local police station.