Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas:NRIs are India’s brand ambassador

Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas-NRIs are India’s brand ambassadors: PM 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday described non-resident Indians as India’s brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country’s capabilities. The Prime Minister was inaugurating the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Tuesday.

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Mr. Modi also alluded to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s comment that only 15 paise of ₹1 reaches masses and said the Congress government had done nothing to stop the leakage. Mr. Modi added that his government had stepped in to rectify the situation. The “85 per cent loot” taking place during the Congress regime had been plugged “100 per cent” through technology, he said.

The theme of this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’

“We have given about ₹5,80,000 crore to people, transferred to their bank accounts through various schemes. Imagine, if the country was being run on the older system? Then ₹4,50,000 crore would have vanished,” Mr. Modi said.

Continuing his attack on the Congress, he said efforts to stop the “leakage” could have been made earlier as well but there was no intention and will power. “Our government is moving towards ensuring that the aid given by government is directly transferred to beneficiary accounts through direct benefit schemes,” he said.

Mauritian Premier lauds Modi

Mauritian Premier Pravind Jugnauth, who is the chief guest for the three-day event, also spoke on the occasion. Mr. Jugnauth hailed India’s transformation through initiatives such as the Skill India and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao schemes. He also praised Mr. Modi’s global stewardship in promoting clean energy and for setting up the International Solar Alliance.

Mr. Jugnauth announced that his country will hold a Bhagwad Gita Mahotsav next month and a Bhojpuri Festival next year. For the first time, the three-day convention is being organised from January 21 to 23 instead of January 9 to allow participants to visit the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the Republic Day parade in the national capital. The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’.

-PTI, VARANASI, JANUARY 22, 2019

Govt asks public, NRIs to contribute to Clean Ganga Fund

Govt asks public, NRIs to contribute to Clean Ganga Fund

With surface cleaning of River Ganga’s mainstream set to begin next year, Government has urged public and NRIs to contribute towards the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF).

The Government has until now received approximately Rs 88 crore in the form of donations in CGF and will require more money as the cleaning activity gets underway – most probably from January, 2016, according to Union Water Resources Ministry officials.

The CGF was set up over a year ago.

“We have the action plan for cleaning Ganga ready and will begin the work with entry-level activities. Cleaning the river is an ongoing process and will require funds. Hence, we urge the public to contribute towards the CGF. This will also give tax exemption to donors,” secretary in the ministry, Shashi Shekhar, said.

“Out of the total fund received until now, bigger chunk has come from private players (CSR), while donations from general public and NRIs have been less,” Shekhar noted.

He said the government has the action plan ready now and will share the details of how the works will be carried out will be put on the Ministry’s website.

“We will ask people…Can every Indian contribute Rs 10 per month for the purpose? It is not a big thing. Even if 20 crore people give us Rs 10, we get Rs 200 crore. If every Indian-American contributes 1$ a month, we will get 10 million dollars. We will make such an appeal. We will make appeals on website, through print advertisements,” the official added.

The Government will carry out entry-level activities in four parts with surface cleaning being first of it.

Three other activities include construction/repairing of ghats along the river stretch, construction/repairing crematoria and recycling sewage water flowing into the river from over 3000 villages on the banks of the river.

According to officials, 10,000 to 50,000 litres of sewage water flows into the river from each of the villages daily.

“We will share with people details on the activities and amount spent on the same online annually,” Shekhar said.

The Union Cabinet had given its nod to set up CGF for voluntary contributions from residents of the country, NRIs and Persons of Indian Origin and others to harness their enthusiasm to contribute towards conservation of the river in September last year.

The government had announced that the fund would be managed by a Trust to be headed by the Finance Minister, and the secretariat of the Trust will be set up in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the Clean Ganga Mission Director.

The funds would be utilised for various activities relating to cleaning up of the Ganga, including setting up of waste treatment plants, conservation of biotic diversity of the river, and development of public amenities, besides activities such as Ghat redevelopment and Research and Development and innovative projects.

-06 December 2015 | PTI | New Delhi