Punjab Government acknowledges the contributions NRIs of Punjabi origin in the development of Punjab and has ensured that their interests are guarded well. The state government has set up a Department of NRI affairs for the same. It has also setup Punjab State Commission for NRIs headed by a retired judge of a high court. The commission has the powers of civil court for early disposal of the cases related to NRIs. The commission has already disposed of 885 cases out of 1163 in tenure of four years and is working towards disposing all the pending cases.
The state of Punjab has also worked extensively to address the property related issues of the NRIs. Amendments have been made in the laws related to tenancy to ensure that NRIs can get their property evicted from the tenants without any hassles. NRIs can now get their multiple properties vacated from the tenants under the Punjab Rent Act, 1995 as amended by the Punjab Rent (Amendment) act, 2013. Under the new Punjab Security of Land tenures (Amendment) act, 2013 and the PEPSU tenancy and agriculture (Amendment) Act, 2013 NRIs can now get their ancestral agricultural property and property purchased by NRIs within 5 years, vacated from tenants.
Punjab has also made 10% reservations for NRIs in allocation of residential and industrial plots. A simplified process of stamping/embossing of power of attorneys at divisional headquarters and district levels has been introduced for the ease of NRIs. Fast track revenue courts for NRIs have also been setup for speedy disposal of cases in respect of revenue.
Punjab Government has also initiated development scheme for ancestral villages/towns of NRIs on 50:50 basis. Work on 72 such projects in 10 districts has already been completed. 52 such projects in 9 districts are underway.
“Punjabi Diaspora has played a crucial role in the development of Punjab. We seek their continued support in finding synergies to build a stronger Punjab. Their broader perspectives and new ideas are definitely the founding stones for greater innovations. We whole heartedly welcome them to contribute towards progress of their motherland.” says Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy CM, Punjab.
To protect the NRIs from undue harassment due to false FIRs, Punjab Government has made it mandatory for the SHOS to get approval from the SP to register FIR against an NRI. To ensure the safety of the NRIs 10 Exclusive NRI Police stations have been setup and more such police stations are being planned. Apart from that NRIs can avail the services of security guards for themselves and their properties through PESCO at reasonable rates.
To safeguard NRIs and daughters of Punjab from marriage related frauds, the compulsory Marriage Registration Act has been enacted. To facilitate and expedite the registration of NRI marriages the power of registration has been given to DCs, District Revenue Officers, Tehsildars and Naib tehsildars.
To save the Punjabi youth from migration related frauds and harassment, the prevention of Human Trafficking/Smuggling Act has been enacted. A Skill development scheme has also been introduced for the rehabilitation of widows. A special civil court for NRIs has been made functional at Jalandhar. Efforts are being made to setup similar courts in other two more districts.
38 Honorary NRI Nambardars have been appointed by the state Government for higher involvement of Punjabi Diaspora in the state. The state Government has also issued privilege cards to the NRIs which can be issued from the specialized website for NRIs (www.nripunjab.gov.in). Now the NRIs can also get mobile SIM during their stay in India.
Mr. Tota Singh, Minister Incharge - NRI Affairs Punjab, applauded the impact Sangat Darshans which were held under the chairmanship of Mr. Prakash Singh Badal, to listen and resolve the problems of NRIs at Moga, Jallandhar and Ludhiana. He stated that during these Sangat Darshans 656 complaints were received. Out of which 384 complaints have been resolved and others are under process. Its pertinent to note that all the complaints pertaining to districts Shri Muktsar Sahib, Mansa, Bathinda, Barnala, Fazilka, Pathankot and Rupnagar have been resolved.
The state Government has also given accreditation to NRI journalists. The state of Punjab under the able leadership of Mr. Prakash Singh Badal has also started NRI Sammelan as a healthy platform for serious deliberations to translate ideas/ proposals into actions with the support of Punjabi brethren across the globe.
With these initiatives, Punjab surely wants to facilitate NRIs to showcase their love for their motherland and contribute in its economic and social development. Indeed beginning of a new era for Punjab NRIs!