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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 14, 2013
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday reviewed the implementation of promises made to non-resident Indians (NRIs) during the Parvasi Punjabi Sammelan held in January.
"The purpose of good relations with Punjabi NRIs is not to seek investment but to strengthen their emotional bond with their motherland," he said.

Addressing a meeting, Sukhbir stated that under the new housing policy and investment policy, Punjab had set aside 10% quota for the Punjabi diaspora in all schemes approved by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and industrial estates, besides setting up a separate link on the industrial investment portal for fast-track approval.

The deputy CM also issued directions to increase the number of marriage registration offices from 22 to 190 so as to expedite the registration of NRI marriages. According to Sukhbir, only district revenue officers (DROs) were earlier empowered to register marriages, but now powers had been delegated to all tehsildars and naib tehsildars.

Describing the Acts on compulsory registration of marriages and human smuggling as path-breaking, Sukhbir said the former would effectively deal with fraudulent marriages by NRIs.

NRI affairs minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who was also present at the meeting, said the state government was in the process of taking a decision in which an NRI could get his or her tenant evicted from multiple properties multiple times. He said earlier it was allowed only once for a single property. Majithia said a similar amendment was also being effected for rural properties.

The home department said the Punjab and Haryana high court had been requested to set up three subdivisional judicial magistrate courts at Moga, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur and an appellate court at Jalandhar for civil and criminal cases of NRIs and requisite funds had been provided for the same. Meanwhile, the state government would build the NRI Bhawan in SAS Nagar.