N-deal to help India cut dependency on gas:, Singapore Min

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Singapore, Oct 11 (UNI) Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said the Indo-US nuclear deal will help India cut dependency on coal and gas for power generation.

Speaking to more than 600 Indian delegates at the Global Indian Diaspora conference yesterday, Mr Lee said India needed to move its communities from the rural areas to its cities before the country could catch up with booming economies like China.

Mr Lee, the founder of modern Singapore and first Prime Minister, pointed out that the romanticised ideal of the Indian village would not make the grade.

''If you do not accept that development means you will have a drift from the countryside to the towns, leaving less in the countryside to till even larger lots of land with mechanised means then you will never develop,'' said Mr Lee.

He also noted that India could achieve more progress on development and needed to improve infrastructure, including roads and airports.

India is only moving at 60 per cent of China's pace but is capable of more, he said.

President S R Nathan also applauded a new wave of Singapore immigrants from India.

''The new immigrants are just as diverse, but better equipped than those who arrived in Singapore nearly two centuries ago,'' he told the conference.

The Indian delegates from Asia are attending the two-day meet which ends today.

UNI XC SW VC0955

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