Trust to implement NRI-funded social projects registered

December 26th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghChennai, Dec 26 (IANS) The government has registered a non-profit trust, India Development Foundation (IDF), to enable non-resident Indians (NRIs) to fund socially relevant programmes in villages in the country. “Presently NRIs cannot implement social, health, education improvement projects in a place of their choice in India without prior government sanction. With the setting up of a trust, they can route the money through IDF and implement the projects,” Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, told reporters here Friday.

According to him, a group of NRIs can pool in resources and implement social, health, education and self-help group projects in rural areas.

The trust will fund non-governmental organisations (NGO) to implement NRI projects.

“The government will decide on the board of trustees and other modalities,” Ravi said while briefing the media on the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) conference of NRIs and people of Indian origin (PIO) to be held here Jan 7-9.

The minister also said the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin will be shortly set up, while the university for PIOs will come up in Bangalore.

The university will be run by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education Trust.

The IDF, global advisory council and PIO university were the outcome of the PBD session held in New Delhi this year.

Giving a glimpse of the seventh edition of PBD organised jointly by his ministry, the Tamil Nadu government and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, Ravi said more than 1,500 delegates from over 40 countries are expected to participate.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address Jan 9, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the conference Jan 7.

“Chief ministers of around 12 Indian states are expected to showcase their states to the participants to invite industrial investments,” Ravi added.

The annual event provides a platform to the overseas Indian community to exchange views on ways and means to fulfil aspirations and expectations from the land of their roots.

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