Punjab scraps NRI meet, opts for low-profile event
Chandigarh, Dec 28, 2014: Marking a shift from its earlier high-profile annual NRI meets, the Punjab government has decided to opt for a comparatively low-profile events for the diaspora early next year.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Sunday held his first "Sangat Darshan" for NRIs in Punjab's Moga town, 175 km from here.
"The chief minister held the Sangat Darshan exclusively for direct interface with Non Resident Punjabis (NRPs) to redress the problems faced by these sons of the soil in a far more effective manner," said a state government spokesman.
Punjab used to hold a high-profile annual event for NRIs annually for the last six years, spending millions of rupees. A number of NRPs from US, Canada, Britain, European nations and other countries used to attend with the Punjab government making tall promises to them and claiming that the NRPs would invest in the state.
However, none of the big promises made have been delivered in recent years.
On Sunday, the Punjab government claimed that it had got an "over-whelming response" from NRPs for the new format to meet them.
"The initiative of the state government got an overwhelming response from the Punjabi Diaspora as the venue of this first-ever NRI Sangat Darshan was packed with the NRPs hailing from eight districts of Moga, Bathinda, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Mansa, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Barnala," the spokesman claimed.
Badal announced to set up separate NRI cell in every district across the state to facilitate getting their routine administrative works done smoothly.
He also asked the state home secretary to review the list of NRP Proclaimed Offenders (POs) saying that no injustice should be done to NRPs who were not involved in any crime.....IANS
CM ANNOUNCES NEW YEAR BONANZA FOR NRPs SEPARATE NRI CELL TO BE SET UP IN EVERY DAC
HOME SECRETARY TO REVIEW LIST OF NRP POs
FIVE-MEMBER COMMITTEE OF NRPs TO BE SET UP IN EVERY NRI POLICE STATION
REVENUE DEPARTMENT TO START SPECIAL CAMPAIGN FOR DIVISION OF PROPERTY IN JOINT ACCOUNTS
MAIDEN SANGAT DASRHAN FOR NRPs IN MOGA
TOTA SINGH WELCOME CM AND ALL THE DIGNITARIES
TERMS SANGAT DARSHAN AS A LANDMARK INITIATIVE
Moga, December 28, 2014
In a New Year bonanza for Non-Resident Punjabis (NRPs), the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today announced to set up separate NRI cell in every district across the state for facilitating them in getting their routine administrative works done smoothly.
Addressing a mammoth gathering of the NRPs converged in the maiden Sangat Darshan exclusively organized for them here, the Chief Minister said that the Deputy Commissioners of every district would be asked to provide a separate room for this cell in the respective District Administrative Complexes (DACs) so that the NRPs could be able to get their work done in a prompt and hassle free manner. He said that these cells must be provided with the adequate infra structure so as to help the NRPs visiting these offices. Mr. Badal said that the formal orders regarding the setting up of these cells would be issued soon.
Likewise, in another significant step, the Chief Minister asked the Home Secretary of the state to review the list of NRP Proclaimed Offenders (POs) so that no injustice was done to NRPs, who were not involved in any crime. He asked the officers to evolve a foolproof mechanism for segregating the NRPs against whom no major crime was proved. Mr. Badal categorically said that injustice should not be done with anyone, who was not at all linked with any crime.
Batting for amicable resolution of the disputes of the NRPs, the Chief Minister said that the NRI Police Stations could play a pivotal role in it. He said that rather than registering cases in such matters the NRI Police stations must try to resolve these issues with mutual understanding. Mr. Badal also said that a five member committee comprising of NRPs would also be set up in every NRI Police Stations, so that such matters could be solved with mutual consent.
Dwelling on another issue, the Chief Minister asked the Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR) to start a statewide campaign for the division of property falling in Joint accounts of the family. He said that the Revenue department must dedicate coming three months of January, February and March for accomplishing this task as the NRPs were facing a lot of problems in such matters. Mr. Badal also said that matter pertaining to the land falling within the Red Line (Lal Lakeer/ Dora) would also be solved soon.
Listing the path breaking initiatives taken by the state government for the welfare of the NRPs, the Chief Minister said that Punjab Urban Rent Control Act has been implemented to secure NRI property. Likewise, he said that to save Punjabi youth from migration related frauds and harassment, the Prevention of Human Trafficking/Smuggling Act has been enacted. Mr. Badal further said that to facilitate quick disposal of Power of Attorney made by NRIs, the powers for stamping/embossing of power of attorneys has been given to Deputy Commissioners for properties falling under that district; to Divisional Commissioners for properties falling within that division; and to Financial Commissioner Revenue for properties falling under more than one division.
The Chief Minister further said that to ensure speedy disposal of NRIs cases in respect of Revenue, the powers of Assistant Collectors of the First Grade have been conferred upon all the District Revenue Officers of the State of Punjab in their respective districts to decide their cases. Likewise, he said that Special Civil Court for NRIs has been made functional at Jalandhar adding that efforts were afoot for setting up two similar courts in other districts. Mr. Badal further said that a network of NRI Police stations have been set up in the state along with a special NRI cell under the IGP rank officer.
The Chief Minister further said that to facilitate the Punjabis settled abroad 38 NRI Numberdars have been appointed in the state. Likewise, he said that Punjab Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, 2012 has been enacted and even Naib Tehsildars have been authorized to register marriage. Mr. Badal said that in order to safeguard the interest of NRPs the state government has set up NRI Commission in Punjab.
Similarly, the Chief Minister said that 10% reservation in Industrial/Residential plots have been made by the state government to enable the NRPs in purchasing property in the state. In the same manner he said that a scheme for village development through joint investment by NRI and Government has already been initiated. Mr. Badal further said that for the first time NRI Journalists have been given Accreditation facility and also benefits of Free Accidental Insurance cover.
Exhorting the NRPs to play a far more constructive role in the overall development and prosperity of their home land, the Chief Minister said that these sons of soil have proved their mettle across the globe through sheer hard work and dedication. Citing the example of Mrs. Nikki Halley Governor in USA, he said that the Punjabis have excelled in every field even in foreign nations. “It is a matter of great pride and honor for us that Punjabis have emerged as frontrunner in every sphere across the globe” added Mr. Badal.
Earlier welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries during this Sangat Darshan, NRI Affairs Minister Punjab Jathedar Tota Singh said that this step would go a long way in mitigating the woes of the NRP brethren. He said that the utmost priority of the state government was to facilitate the NRP brethren who had left an indelible imprint in every field across the globe. Jathedar Tota Singh reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to ensure the well being of the NRPs.
Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Advisor to Chief Minister on National Affairs and Media Mr. Harcharan Bans, Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, MLAs Mr. Joginder Pal Jain, Mrs. Rajwinder Kaur and Mr. Mahesh Inder Singh, Chairman Punjab Health System Corporation Mr. Barjinder Singh Brar, Additional Chief Secretary cum Home Secretary Mr. Jagpal Singh, Principal Secretary NRI Affairs Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Financial Commissioner Revenue Mr. Karan Avtar Singh, NRI Commissioner Mr. B Purusartha, IGP NRI Cell Mrs. Gurpreet Kaur Deo and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr. S Karunaraju.