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Welfare of Indian diaspora a top priority, says Sushma in Oman

IANS  |  Muscat 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday praised the Indian community in Oman for their hard work and said the welfare of the large Indian diaspora, especially in the Gulf, is one of the top priorities of the Narendra Modi government.

Sushma Swaraj, who arrived here earlier in the day on a two-day visit, said the government, in collaboration with the state governments, is "proactively devising ways and means to address the concerns of our nationals living abroad".

Praising the 700,000-strong Indian community in Oman, she said they form the largest expatriate group in Oman.

"You all are the vital organic links between India and Oman," she said during an interaction with the Indian community in Muscat."By providing highly skilled service at a competitive cost, our community's role has become indispensible for the Omani economy," the minister said.

She said the government is in continuous dialogue with the Omani government on various matters concerning the Indian community.

"The ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has undertaken a number of measures to ensure the welfare of our community in Oman, through the institution of Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF), online information system regarding transportation of mortal remains etc," she said.

She said the Modi government is "committed to development with transparency and good governance. We are striving to revive growth. The impact is already evident in the green shoots of recovery and a positive, even upbeat, business sentiment in the country".

She said the MOIA ministry has introduced an online information system regarding transportation of mortal remains and the embassy also has a 24x7 helpline including a toll-free service for Indians in distress.

"An initiative of the embassy is that no Indian visiting the embassy should go hungry. Accordingly, the embassy provides tea/coffee and food to any Indian claiming to be hungry even before addressing their specific problem.

"I am very happy that the ministry is implementing the web-based service for Indians called MEA in Aid of in Distress or 'MADAD' starting with select Missions including our Embassy in Muscat," she added.

She also thanked the Omani leadership, especially Sultan Qaboos for hosting the Indian community.

"Oman is in the forefront of GCC countries in terms of offering expatriates not just a good quality of life but also with regard to freedom to practice one's faith and fulfillment of other cultural rights," she added.

First Published: Wed, February 18 2015. 00:02 IST