Dubai: Indian minister V. Muraleedharan celebrates Onam with Malayali community

He talks about witnessing optimistic growth after the signing of CEPA with the UAE


Nandini Sircar

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KT photos/Nandini Sircar
KT photos/Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 16 Sep 2022, 5:55 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Sep 2022, 6:38 PM

The UAE and India share a “robust relationship” that has led to sustainable growth and it will further enhance job opportunities on both sides, said Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, who is on a visit to the country.

He underlined that chances of job creation heightened after the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE housing the largest expatriate (Indians) community in the world.

The minister was addressing the Indian diaspora at Indian Consulate in Dubai on Friday where members of the Malayali community gathered to celebrate the festival of Onam.

He also congratulated everyone present for the celebration, light-heartedly opining, that Indians look for occasions to celebrate, and that “festivals are the greatest opportunity for coming and bonding together.”

He also took the opportunity to shine a spotlight on how the UAE-India CEPA continues to strengthen economic relations. Muraleedharan said, “With the UAE, we have a robust relationship. We had the historic opportunity of signing the CEPA in February this year. The agreement came into force on May 1 and we have seen optimistic growth during this period.”

He adds, “All these opportunities will be provided by the government and the private sector. The private sector has a major role to play. That's why the government of India is now trying to reduce the compliance burden so that there is an improvement in ease of doing business. Ease of doing business will, inter alia, result in ease of living, with employment opportunities being an inseparable part. So, this is the aim with which the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been working”

The Minister also appreciated the officials of the Indian Consulate for serving 3.6 million Indians in the UAE round the clock.

The Dubai consulate has now celebrated the second anniversary of working 365 days continuously.

He also reiterated how Prime Minister Narendra Modi called himself the ‘pradahan sevak’ (chief employee) and said this government is for ‘sabka sath’ (with everyone).

“With everyone means, to cater to the needs of everyone, to address the needs of everyone, to respond to the needs of every Indian citizen. The (Indian) Prime Minister's wishes have been translated into action which is experienced by every Indian citizen living in the UAE who is earning their bread and butter for their families who are back home. Indians here are not living here just for themselves. All of you have come here in search of better opportunities and a better living. You are supporting the economy of the home country. I am from the state of Kerala and the state’s economy is supported by the remittances that you send home,” he said

Sharing instances of how the Indian community enjoyed the goodwill of the UAE-India strategic partnership during the Covid-19 crisis, Muraleedharan further said, “You have experienced the Covid period when the government of India reached out to expats, whoever wanted to come back to the country – Vande Bharat flights were arranged. Recently, in Afghanistan, 22,000 Indian students were stranded due to the conflict that happened there. Operation Ganga helped bring back Indians who wanted to come back to India. So, this philosophy of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (with everyone for everyone’s development), is evident.”

Recalling snippets of the Indian Prime Minister’s speech on the occasion of Independence Day, on August 15, from the Red Fort in Delhi, Muraleedharan highlighted, “The PM said, the responsibility falls upon us as citizens to fulfil the dreams and vision of our forefathers who laid their lives for gaining the freedom of the country …And to see that at least when it’s time for the centenary of India’s Independence in 2047 we must have an India for which our forefathers laid down their lives. So, he mentioned ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabkha vishwas’ (with everyone for everyone’s development to win everyone’s trust), is the dictum of the government but he wanted to add one more sentence… 'there is sabka prayas’ (everyone’s effort). So, that effort will not be only of the government, but of everyone that is sab ka prayas. I would like to congratulate all of you here because although the PM said it last year you have been practising this in the UAE and in every other part of the world.”

Hailing the Indian diasporic community for standing together in times of crisis, he avers, “It’s your effort during Covid, your effort whenever the community finds any difficult situation, you have been working hand-in-hand with our missions and consulates to see that the problems faced by the Indian society and the Indian diaspora are addressed.”

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