Jaipur : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said that the government has made serious attempts to address the rising expectations of people with regard to governance and public services and is committed to provide security of education, nutrition and health to every Indian.
Addressing the tenth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Jaipur, Dr. Singh also expressed confidence that some of the legislations on the agenda of the government will bring similar impacts like RTI did in bringing transparency in governance.
“We have attempted sincerely to address the rising expectations of our people with regard to governance and delivery of public services. The Right to Information Act has proved to be a powerful instrument of bringing in transparency in governance,” Dr. Singh said.
“I am confident that some of the other legislations on these issues, which are now on the national agenda, will make a similar impact in the years ahead,” he further said.
The Prime Minister said since the Indian civilization and the society have always been inclusive in character, it is only natural that our political and economic processes have also to be “inclusive” in their orientation and in their outcome.
He said that the Indian democracy has deepened and gained in strength and vitality as more and more people from the disadvantaged sections of our society have secured their rightful place in our economic and political processes over the past years.
“We wish to unleash the vast human potential of the many millions, who for one reason or another, have been on margins of our society in the past. Our government is committed to doing so by providing security of education, nutrition and health to every Indian so that he or she is empowered to live a life of dignity and well being,” he said.
The Prime Minister said his government was committed to the pursuit of a development strategy which will protect the environment and the essential life—support systems of the planet.
Dr. Singh said though people in India speak in different languages and follow different faiths, it has a tradition of assimilating and accommodating diverse traditions, customs, beliefs and peoples.
“That is what makes Indian society, Indian civilization endure and flourish,” he added.
‘Much more to contribute’
Recognising the role of overseas Indians in the country’s development, Dr. Singh said the diaspora has much more to contribute to the building of modern India and Government is committed to promote this engagement.
Addressing over 1,900 NRIs in Jaipur, Dr. Singh also said that there is a need to be alert to the unfolding developments in Gulf and West Asia but assured them it was ready to extend such help to them anywhere should the need arise.
Listing several steps taken for the welfare for overseas Indians, the Prime Minister said the government was also “acutely conscious” of the safety and security of Indians living abroad, particularly in regions characterized by instability.
“The government and people of India recognize and greatly value the important role being played by Indian communities living abroad. We believe that the Indian diaspora has much more to contribute to the building of modern India,” Dr. Singh said.
“We propose to facilitate, encourage and promote this engagement. Over the past year we have taken a number of steps towards this end,” he said.
Pension Fund for Indian workers
The Prime Minister told the overseas Indians that the government has decided to introduce and sponsor a new Pension and Life Insurance Fund for overseas Indian workers.
The Union Cabinet had cleared a proposal for setting up of a Pension and Life Insurance Fund (PLIF) for them in the Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries on 4th January.
“The scheme will encourage, enable and assist overseas workers to voluntarily save for their return and resettlement and old age. It will also provide a low—cost life insurance cover against natural death. This scheme fulfils a long pending demand of our workers abroad,” Dr. Singh said.