Odishatv Bureau


Jakarta: While addressing the Indian diaspora in the Indonesian capital today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned about Bali Jatra and how it has helped in maintaining strong cultural ties between the two nations.

"Bali Jatra is celebrated every year in the Indian state of Odisha, a festival which is being celebrated for many years is the testimony of the strong cultural ties between Indonesia and India," said PM Modi.

During his address at the Jakarta Convention Centre in the Indonesian capital, the Indian prime minister assured that free of cost visa will be granted for Indonesian citizens for a period upto 30 days. He also invited Indonesian citizens to India to attend Kumbh Mela.

"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, PM 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. We have gone a step ahead of Ease of Doing Business. Our focus is Ease of Living. Our processes are transparent and sensitive," said PM Modi.

"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," he 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 intention 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.

(With Agency inputs)