The annual event for global Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, is the project of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The event is scheduled between January 7 and 9 and would be held in Kochi, Kerala State. The focus of this year’s festivities would be the plight of Indian workers currently working in the Middle East.
In a statement by the Secretary of MOIA, Mr. Rajiv Mehrishi, “The Indian worker in the Gulf sends money back home for the upkeep of his/her family; for social and family occasions such as marriages and for building a home/flat etc. Therefore, the area of concern for our ministry is how to bring down the cost of remittances for these workers. This is a complex issue and will require detailed and technical study. However, we are happy to listen to any suggestions made by the Indian workers in this regard during the PBD.”
According to the latest numbers, there are over five million Indians working in the Gulf region. One of the highlights of the event is a whole day dedicated to discuss the issues besetting this segment of the population. It is also expected that a large contingent from the Middle East would be participating in PBD 2013 as well.
Overall, the number of participants would top 2012 numbers, where 1900 participants attended the PBD 2012 but 2500 have registered for PBD 2013. One of the larger contingents would be about a hundred delegates from Canada. Amongst them is a senior minister as well as the mayor of Brampton City, locally known in Canada as ‘Mini India”. Also participating would be Canada’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, Susan Fennell, the Mayor of Brampton and Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham. They will showcase the increasing business opportunities for Indians in Canada.
The theme of the event is economic in nature, “Engaging Diaspora: The Indian Growth Story”. There will also be efforts undertaken by the Overseas Indian Facilitation Center to provide an institutional framework in increasing the economic engagement of NRIs and PIOs living in India.
Mehrishi added, “The OIFC has organized a ‘market place’ at PBD 2013 that provides an opportunity for investors to meet with all stakeholders and identify areas of interest. We will provide the forum for potential investors to explore the possibility of investing in India.”