From the Secretary General's Desk…
Aago, s the nation celebrates the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa a hundred years
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on January 8, 2015, the day of the Mahatma's return, a string of facilities for expatriate Indians that seek to free them of regulations on their arrival to India and within the country. The occasion was the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), organized at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Government of Gujarat. The Prime Minister, quite appropriately, declared that engaging with the pravasis was not a one-way street as "not everything should be seen in terms of pounds or dollar" and pointed out that overseas Indians need to be given unstinted support so that they feel enthusiastic in contributing to India's development. The PBD delegates were apprised of the comprehensive socio-economic development programme launched by the Modi Government which focuses on aspects such as cleanliness, skill development and building of smart cities. Through these endeavors the government aims to transform India by getting the basics right. These programmes throw open huge investment opportunities and space for fresh ideas and experience sharing. We carry a report and a tribute to the Mahatma in this issue. Globalisation has made free flow of goods, service and ideas possible but human mobility has remained an unfinished business. To make migration of people easy, businesses need to play the dual role of a communicator as well as facilitator. In this context, FICCI organsieda conference on 'Mobility and The Business Case for Migration' in New Delhi. This was a first of its kind initiative undertaken by the chamber in association with the International Labour Organisation and Oracle, to highlight the importance of mobility to businesses. There is room for cheer on the manufacturing front. A survey by FICCI and PwC, 'Indian Manufacturing Barometer 2014' reveals that business leaders in the manufacturing sector are optimistic about performance of their businesses and the sector as a whole over the next 12 months. They do not expect any decline in their own business revenues or their industry's revenue and believe that the stated intent of the government to remove obstacles to business performance followed up with appropriate action on the ground as also easing of the global economic scenario will provide the much needed boost to GDP and the manufacturing sector. We are happy to record that Dr. Jyotsna Suri took over as President of FICCI at the conclusion of the chamber's Annual General Meeting in December 2014. Dr. Suri is chairperson of the Bharat Hotels Ltd. She has been Chairperson of the FICCI Tourism Committee for the last five years and the only woman to do so, the only Indian member on the International Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Executive Member of Hotel Association of India. Harshavardhan Neotia, was elevated as Senior Vice-President and Pankaj R. Patel was elected Vice-President.
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A Didar Singh