Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday assured a visa on arrival facility for Australian tourists and announced a two-month deadline for the long-pending merger of OCI and PIO status to woo the Indian diaspora from whom he sought support for his ambitious Clean India campaign.
Addressing a frenzied crowd of around 20,000 in the packed Allphones Arena in Sydney, Modi took a dig at the previous governments saying while they were happy to make laws, he was “happier to remove” them.
“Let’s open the windows let fresh air come in,” Modi said referring to his government’s efforts to weed out obsolete laws.
Touched by the grand reception, Modi said he was honoured and humbled and will never forget this day. “I know that behind this affection lies expectations. Yes. We want to create the India you are dreaming of.”
“This welcome, this respect, this enthusiasm I dedicate it to the people of India,” said Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia in 28 years.
Modi announced that his government was working on facilitating visa on arrival for Australian tourists and said PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) status will be merged ahead of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas to be held from January 7 in Ahmedabad.
Modi had announced merger of PIO and OCI during his visit to the US in September but had not given a timeline then.
The Prime Minister also referred to economic reforms unveiled by his government and said India has become an attractive destination for investment.
He also said FDI in Railways has been hiked to 100 per cent and hoped that Australian companies will invest in creating rail infrastructure in the country.