In a New Year bonanza for Non-Resident Punjabis (NRPs), the Punjab Chief Minister, 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.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.
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. 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 Badal.