Allow more Indians to work in Britain: President

Friday, 30 October 2009, 02:19 Hrs
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London: President Pratibha Patil Thursday urged Britain to allow "freer movement" of Indians wishing to live and work in this country to enable India-British ties to achieve their "full potential."

"For any relationship to achieve its full potential, the enhancements in business links have to be correspondingly matched by freer movement of peoples, professionals and business travellers," the visiting president told a meeting of business leaders organised by the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) in London.

"I hope that both sides will be able to work out a mechanism conducive to the free movement of professionals and businessmen which will be important for sustaining the flourishing business links," she added.

Patil's comments came after Britain's Business Minister Peter Mandelson urged greater economic liberalisation in India in the areas of financial and legal services.

Patil said both Indians and Britons are "well known for their enterprising spirit and their ability to constantly explore newer areas and fields."

"I am sure that when they join hands together, they have the capacity to bring success. I would urge the businesspersons present here to find ways and means to further intensify their engagements so that economic relations between our two countries can be deepened further," she added.

The British government has made it increasingly difficult for skilled Indians to live and work in Britain, with a new Points Based System laying down strict preconditions of income (40,000 pounds or more per year), qualification and language skills.

A large number of Indian companies, particularly in the Information Technology sector, have complained that the rules make it difficult for them to work in Britain.

The meeting was attended by top British and Indian businessmen, including Tata managing director Anwar Hassan, Vodafone CEO Vittoria Colao, Standard Chartered Bank vice-chairman Tom Harris, UKIBC chair Patricia Hewitt and Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi.
Source: IANS
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