BENGALURU: The chief guest of the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Dr Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, flashed his PIO card and said that that he is proud to be a person of Indian origin. Saying that he traces his Indian roots to Goa, he said, “Our relatives still stay in Goa. I will visit the home in Goa, where my father spent his childhood. We never lost our ties with India. I can proudly say that I am the first person of Indian origin to lead a European country."
He lauded the government for honouring overseas Indians. “India and Portugal have a century-old relationship. I wish to renew and keep this relationship for the present and the future and contribute for the development of both countries,” he said and invited people to invest in Portugal.
PM: Convert PIO to OCI cards by June 30
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders should convert their cards to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.
“Our government is closely working with the governments of Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname and other Caribbean countries to put in place new procedures so that Indian communities abroad will be eligible to get OCI cards. The deadline for converting the cards has been extended from December 31, 2016 to June 30, 2017, without penalty,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr Modi mourned the death of former President of Portugal Mario Soares. All delegates and visitors stood in silence for a minute.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a roaring welcome as the delegates stood up and chanted “Modi, Modi” as soon as he entered the venue on the second day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here on Sunday. Hundreds of National Service Scheme volunteers welcomed Modi.
When the event host requested Mr Modi to address the gathering, the crowd again took to the Modi chant. From college students to the delegates, everyone was seen chanting the Prime Minister’s name. Mr Modi acknowledged the chant with a wide smile and started his speech.