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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Gurdaspur, January 06, 2013
PPCC vice president Ashwani Sekhri has asked the Punjab government to stop holding Parvasi Punjabi Sammelans as "they have always proved a wasteful exercise".
Talking to Hindustan Times here on Sunday, Sekhri said that no NRI was likely to invest in Punjab. He said that in reply to his question in the last session of the Vidhan Sabha, he was told that only two NRIs had applied to set up industrial ventures in Punjab and one of them had withdrawn his application later while the other application was still in the process.

"No NRI is investing in the state. The taxes paid by the industrialists of the state were lavishly spent on the NRI convention. Instead of spending so much money on luring NRIs to invest in the state, the Badal government should offer incentives to small-scale industrial units. This will trigger industrial growth, which would in turn generate more income for the government," said the PPCC vice-president.

Sekhri, an MLA from Batala, said that he would make a query in the Vidhan Sabha regarding the amount spent on the Parvasi Punjabi Sammelan and its outcomes.

Pointing out that Punjab had one of the largest number of small-scale industrial units in the country, Sekhri urged the state government to take care of them properly in the larger interest of the state. Sekhri said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, a seasoned politician, seemed to know the worthlessness of the Parvasi Punjabi Sammelan because in his address he had indirectly advised Punjab minister for NRI affairs Bikram Singh Majithia to concentrate more on the welfare of the common man than NRIs.

He said that if the NRIs from Punjab had love for their state and its people, they should themselves offer to invest in Punjab rather than wait for requests from the government.