Toll-free Punjab Call-Centre
MoU SIGNED WITH GOI FOR NRI WELFARE
Chandigarh, May 26, 2008
Punjab will hoist a 24-hour toll free call centre for live and
on-the-spot redress of problems and grievances of the Punjabis
settled in different countries across the globe. The call centre,
a bilingual facility in Punjabi and English, comes as a follow-up
to the decisions taken during the NRI Sammelan held in Chandigarh
and Jalandhar in January this year.
Disclosing this, Mr. Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to the Punjab
Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said that in addition
to the Call Centre, the NRI-specific official website of the state
government would also function as a logistic back-up for increased
facilitation of government-to-NRI interaction.
It may be mentioned here that about 70 lac NRIs of Punjabi Origin
are settled in different parts of the world, with Canada U.K.,
U.S.A, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain and some countries
in the middle-east being the favoured destinations
Meanwhile, the Punjab Government today signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
in the Government of India for putting in place a structured mechanism
for the welfare of Punjabis going to or already settled in different
countries across the world. The MOU was signed in the presence
of the Punajb Chief Minister with Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder
Singh and Mr. K. Mohan Das, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas India
Affairs representing the State and the Union governments respectively.
Although the major thrust of the MoU is at creating awareness
among the common Punjabis about issues relating to problems faced
in migration and employment-related issues, one of its key clauses
concerns imparting vocational skills to the aspiring emigrants.
Short-duration skill-training courses would be organized keeping
mind country-specific demand for skilled work-force from Punjab.
The MoU also provides for a stepped-up co-ordination between the
Punjab and the Central government on legal aspects of migration
from the state. It also seeks a joint initiative for setting up
help centers for solving immigration related problems at various
airports and for providing emergency documentation in case of
loss of passports abroad, said Mr. Bains.
The MoU lists the broad outlines of the programme for training
for prospective emigrants at identified training centers through
three tracks, namely training through the centers of Ministry
of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Private Partners and recognized
Non-Government Organizations and the State Government. Apart from
this the MoU also envisaged the setting up of regional overseas
workers resources centre for rendering assistance to potential
Emigrant Workers from the state, supporting the awareness campaign
on promoting legal migration and NRI marriages in regional language,
taking strict deterrent action against unscrupulous Recruiting
Agents & Travel Agents involved in illegal migration and checking
on exploitation of workers and conducting research studies on
issues relevant to emigration, especially on the productivity
of workers and on countries with scope for future employment abroad.
The principal objective of the MoU was to safeguard the interests
and well being of potential immigrant workers against exploitative
policies of their prospective employers and to ensure that they
migrate legally to foreign countries only after acquiring skill
levels required for working in the countries of their choice.
The MoU would also focus to provide guidance to prospective brides
& their families on marriages with Overseas Indians and to
take expeditious legal action against unscrupulous recruiting
Presiding over the simple and brief function, the Chief Minister
said that the state government had decided to make NRI Sammelans
an annual feature. Some Sammelans would also be held in countries
with strong Punjabi presence and these would be in the nature
of "NRI Sangat Darshans" with decisions being taken
on the spot for redress of NRI grievances. He said the major issues
referred to property, matrimonial disputes, duping by travel agents,
harassment by foreign employers, loss of passport in foreign land
and immigration at Indian Airports were being taken up by Punjab
Government for the welfare of NRIs. The Chief Minister said that
since more than 20 lac Punjabi NRIs visit India every year, their
welfare had made one of the centerpieces of the government's overall
approach to governance.
Commissioner NRI Affairs, Punjab Mr. A.S. Chattwal gave a power
point presentation on the bold initiatives taken up by the Punjab
Government for the welfare of NRIs, that included setting up of
six special NRI police stations, designating SP (HQ) of each district
as nodal officer for NRI complaints and criminal cases, setting
up of fast track revenue courts, setting up of facilitation centre
at International Airport at Amritsar, setting up of a single window
investment cell and setting up of a NRI portal.
The Punjab Advocate General Punjab H.S. Mattewal, Principal
Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab D.S. Guru, Principal Resident
Commissioner Punjab Bhawan New Delhi Mrs. Anjuli Chib Duggal,
Secretary Labour & Employment N.S Kang, Secretary Technical
Education & Industrial Training V.K.Sharma, DGP Punjab Mr.
N.P.S. Aulakh and Director Industries V.K. Janjua were among those
present at the ceremony.
More than 80 % turn out
in Panchayat elections
Badal thanks Punjabis for peaceful Conduct of poll process
Chandigarh May 26 – The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash
Singh Badal today thanked the people of Punjab for the peaceful
conduct of the Panchayat elections in the state.
In a statement here, Mr. Badal said that the polling remained
totally peaceful, free and fair and this was a "triumph for
grass-root democracy in the state. Punjabis voted with enthusiasm
and responsibility to set an example for the rest for the country
in dignified democratic conduct."
The Chief Minister said that he was particularly happy over the
massive turn-out of voters in the elections, with over 80% of
rural Punjabis taking part in the exercise. "That a democratic
exercise of such vast magnitude was conducted without any complaint
being reported from anywhere totally vindicated our position that
our commitment to democratic values has firmed-up the roots of
popular governance in the state. This has also exposed the irresponsible
campaign of wild incriminations launched by some of our political
detractors about the fairness of the poll," said Mr. Badal
Nevertheless, Mr. Badal said that he was grateful to everyone,
including the Opposition parties, for their co-operation in making
this exercise a grand success.
RE-POLL TO GRAM PANCHAYATS ON 28TH MAY
WHERE POLLS ADJOURNED DUE TO FAULTY BALLOT PAPERS
Chandigarh May 26:
The State Election Commission, Punjab today decided that re-poll
to those Gram Panchayats would be held on Wednesday 28th May 2008
in the cases where it has been adjourned due to faulty, insufficient
printing of ballot papers or due to other contingency.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the State Election
Commission, Punjab said that the some Electoral Officers has stated
that polls to a few Gram Panchayats have been adjourned due to
faulty, insufficient printing of ballot papers or miss-printing
of names/symbols of the contesting candidates. Keeping in this
view the Commission has decided that re-poll would be held on
28.05.2008 in the cases where it has been adjourned due to faulty,
insufficient printing of ballot papers or due to other contingency.
Giving directions to all the District Electoral Officers-cum-Deputy
Commissioners, Additional District Electoral Officers-cum-Additional
Deputy Commissioners (Development) in the State, the Commission
has said that however, in a specific case the re-poll could not
be held on 28.05.2008 for any reason what so ever, then clarification/
confirmation might be obtained from the State Election Commission.
"The fresh ballot papers where-ever required would be got
printed locally at district level on competitive rates. The polling
hours would remain the same i.e. from 8 AM to 4.00 PM. It is reiterated
that the re-poll applies only in the cases of adjourned polls
to the Gram Panchayats and not the countermanded ones, for which
the fresh election programme would be intimated separately",
PUNJAB CM CONDOLES THE DEMISE OF SMT. VIDYAWATI MOTHER OF FORMER
MEMBER PARLIAMENT SATPAL JAIN
Mohali May 26, 2008
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today expressed
profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Smt.Vidyawati
mother of former Member Parliament Mr. Satpal Jain, who passed
away here after a brief illness. She was 90 years old and survived
by four sons. Her eldest son Mr. Satpal Jain lit the pyre.
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal along with Capt.
Kanwaljit Singh, Cooperation Minister Punjab and Mr. Jasjit Singh
Banni, Chairman Punjab State Cooperative Bank placed wreaths on
the body of Smt. Vidyawati.
The Chief Minister shared his heartfelt sympathies with the inconsolable
members of the bereaved family and prayed to Almighty to give
strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss and grant peace
to the departed soul. Meanwhile Member Parliament and President
Shiromani Akali Dal Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal also condoled the
death of Smt. Vidyawati and Information & Public Relations
Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia also condoled shared his heartfelt
sympathies with the members of the bereaved family.
Prominent amongst other who attended the cremation included Charanjit
Singh Channi, MLA Chamkaur Sahib, Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA, Deputy
Commissioner Mohali Rahul Bhandari, SSP Ranbir Singh Khatra. Eminent
personalities from different walks of life including senior officers
of Civil and Police Administration besides the leaders & workers
of Shiromani Akali Dal and Bhartiya Janta Party, Bar Association
& Journalists and Members of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak
Committee attended the cremation.