Jaipur: The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs kicked of the 10th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, the annual congregation of NRIs and PIOs.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to deliver his inaugural address on Sunday during which he is likely to announce the much-awaited voluntary insurance and pension scheme for millions of overseas Indian workers.

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Singh will address the nearly 1,500 delegates from 24 countries that include top government functionaries and officials of several nations at the Birla Auditorium in this 'pink city', which has been spruced up and turned into a security fortress for the annual event.

Top government sources said Singh may announce the setting up of a Pension and Life Insurance Fund (PLIF) for overseas Indian workers, particularly those working in Gulf countries.

The proposal to set up the fund, which allows workers to opt for the scheme, was cleared by the Cabinet last week.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the scheme was voluntary and any overseas worker can opt for it.

Under the scheme, the government will co-contribute Rs 1,000 annually for all subscribers who contribute between Rs 1,000 and Rs 12,000 per year. Women overseas workers will enjoy a special additional co-contribution of Rs 1000 a year.

Indian-origin Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad Bissessar is the chief guest in the 10th edition of PBD. She is on a state visit to India and is leading a high-level delegation that includes the nation's ambassador and cricketing legend Brian Lara.

(Agencies)