Astana (Kazakhstan), Aug. 15 (ANI): The 62nd anniversary of India's Independence Day was celebrated at the residence of India's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Ashok Sajjanhar, this morning.
The ceremony began with the flag hoisting by Ambassador Sajjanhar and singing of the national anthem and patriotic songs by ladies of the Indian Embassy.
In his remarks to the guests before the telecast of Address by President of India on the eve of Independence Day, the ambassador acknowledged the significant contribution of the Indian community in Kazakhstan in promoting and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Ambassador referred to the Parliamentary elections that took place in India in April-May, 2009 as a result of which the ruling United Progressive Alliance Government led by the Congress Party had come back with a stronger majority. The results of the elections signify continuity with change. The new Government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh has taken far reaching decisions for the economic development and growth of the country. The Government was determined to bring the economy back to the growth path of 9% in the shortest possible time.
Ambassador Sajjanhar said that the Indian economy had not been affected as severely as the economies of other developed and developing countries due to the economic crisis. Indian economy had grown at a rate of 6.7 percent in 2008. It was the largest recipient of remittances from the Indian diaspora amounting to US$ 52 billion. This is a testimony to the confidence that Indians abroad have in the future of the country. The Government is determined to devote special attention and emphasis to the building of physical infrastructure including roads, ports, power, airports, etc. as well as social infrastructure including education and health.
The ambassador also dealt with the significant visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to India as the Chief Guest at our 60th Republic Day celebrations. This was a strong reaffirmation of the respect and affection of the people of India for President Nazarbayev and for the people of Kazakhstan. Discussions and meetings during the visit provided a significant impulse to bilateral political, strategic, economic, commercial, cultural and military ties. Several path-breaking Agreements in the areas of oil and gas, civil nuclear energy, space etc. were signed.
Indian nationals living in Astana and nearby cities including Karaganda (250 km), Atyrau (3000 km), Pavlodar (500 km), officials of the Embassy along with their families and children participated enthusiastically in the celebrations. Friends and well-wishers of India in Kazakhstan including representatives of several companies like Arcelor-Mittal, Punj Lloyd, Tata Consultancy Services and others also attended the celebrations. About 100 people participated in the activities.
Indian tea and refreshments were served after the official ceremony. (ANI)