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Narendra Modi announces 30-day free visa for Indonesian citizens

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on 30 May 2018. Photo: AFP

Jakarta: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced a 30-day free visa for Indonesian citizens and invited the diaspora to travel to their country of origin to experience the ‘New India’.

Addressing a gathering of Indian diaspora at the Jakarta Convention Centre in the Indonesian capital, Modi said, “not only do the names of our nations rhyme but also there is a distinct rhythm in the India-Indonesia friendship.”

“We will grant free of cost visa for Indonesian citizens for travel of up to 30 days,” Modi said, amid applause.

“Many of you may never have been to India. I invite you all to come to India for the Kumbh in Prayag next year,” Modi told the gathering.

Kumbh Mela is one of the largest human congregations on the Earth.

Taking a dig at the previous governments, Modi said his first priority as a government was to make the country corruption free, citizen-centric and development friendly.

“Our government, has been making India ready according to the need and expectations of the 21st century,” he said. “We have gone a step ahead of ‘Ease of Doing Business.’ Our focus is ‘Ease of Living.’ Our processes are transparent and sensitive,” Modi said. “We have to make a ‘New India’. We have to start working to realise the dream of New India by 2022, when India will celebrate 75 years of her independence,” Modi added.

In the last two-and-a-half years, more than 9,000 start-ups have been registered in India, he said, adding that the world’s second largest start-up ecosystem is built in India.

“And my friends living in Indonesia, these are happening, laws are the same, officers are the same, offices are the same, tables and chairs are the same, only the government has changed and the country is changing,” Modi said.

“If the policy is clear and intension pure, then development has to happen which we have shown,” he asserted.

Prime Minister Modi, who arrived in Jakarta last night on his first-ever official visit to Indonesia, earlier met President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka palace, one of the presidential palaces in Indonesia.

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