Muscat: The 68th Independence Day of India was celebrated on Friday in the premises of Indian Embassy in Muscat where a large number of Indian community members had gathered in the morning, with patriotic fervour.
J.S. Mukul, Indian ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, unfurled the Indian national flag and read out the address of the President of India Pranab Mukherjee to the nation.
Students from the Indian School Wadi Al Kabir led the gathering in singing the national anthem, followed by other patriotic songs befitting the occasion.
In his remarks on the occasion, the Indian ambassador congratulated the Indian community in Oman whose diligence, sincerity and professionalism is well recognised by all, and complimented them for their outstanding contributions in strengthening friendly relations with Oman and in its march of progress, and also for being valued partners in the economic development of the country.
The ambassador reiterated the historical maritime links between India and Oman which have since grown to a strategic partnership and thanked the government and the people of Oman for their warmth and continued support for the Indian community in the Sultanate.
The ambassador also announced that the 'Open House' at the Embassy, which was so far being held once a month, would now be held on all working days between 10 a.m. and 12 noon and members of the Indian community in Oman can benefit from it.
A documentary titled "One Thousand and One Nights Under the Arabian Sky" on the Indian Diaspora in Oman and the UAE was also screened. Quoting from president of India's address, the ambassador said, "In the last decade, our economy grew at an average rate of 7.6 per cent per year. Though the growth rate remained subdued at below five per cent during the last two years, I sense renewed vigour and optimism in the air. Signs of revival are visible. Our external sector has strengthened. Fiscal consolidation measures are beginning to show results. Notwithstanding occasional spurts, inflation has started moderating. However, food prices still remain a matter of serious concern. Record food grains production last year helped agriculture sector to grow at a healthy 4.7 per cent.
"Employment has increased by an average of about four per cent per year in the last decade. Manufacturing sector is on the rebound. The stage is now set for our economy to move on a high growth trajectory of seven to eight per cent, which is essential to ensure the availability of adequate resources for equitable development."