Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday announced a review of the state government's major policies concerning the wellbeing of Non Resident Indians.
Addressing a gathering during the third and concluding 'Sangat Darshan' (people meeting exercise) exclusively held for NRIs here, the chief minister said that these Sangat Darshans have proved to be a boon both for the state government and NRIs as they have enabled the former to have an in-depth understanding of the policies related to the latter.
Describing the NRIs as "ambassadors" of Punjab in foreign countries, he said that "they were both an asset as well as pride of the entire Punjabi community so it was the duty of the state government to ensure their welfare".
"The interactions with NRIs during these three days have enabled me to completely understand the problems faced by them and we will make all out efforts for rectifying the mechanism, wherever needed to address their grievances", Badal said.
Announcing the review of major policies concerning the NRIs, the chief Minister said the state government is contemplating to give the powers regarding enquiry of cases against NRIs to the local Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs).
He said that in order to prevent any undue harassment of NRIs by fake police complaints, from now onwards any complaint against them would be investigated at the level of the Inspector General (IG) of NRI cell.
However, during the Sangat Darshan programme many NRIs advocated that this investigation must be conducted at the level of SSP of the concerned district for saving time and energy of NRIs and hence the state government would explore the feasibility of this matter.
He said that going by the pendency of the Revenue Courts, the work of these also needs to be streamlined for which the state government would take the necessary steps.
Badal said that NRI brethren have to wait for long to get their cases resolved in these courts and hence the state government would take adequate steps to expedite the process of clearing these cases.
The CM said that in order to ensure better participation of the NRIs to develop the state, the Punjab government would remove the shortcomings in the matching grant scheme so that the Punjabi Diaspora settled abroad could be more actively involved in the development of their native village or town.
He said that "NRIs are keen to be a partner for the development of their villages so the state government will take every step to facilitate them".
The chief minister also announced that process for evacuation of the properties of NRIs in the state would also be made hassle-free so that they do not face any problem.
Expressing concern over the pendency of cases in dedicated Civil court for NRIs in Jalandhar, Badal said that he would flag up this issue before the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
He said that a large number of NRIs have raised this issue during the Sangat Darshans as they have to face a lot of problem due to the pending cases in the court. Badal said that he would urge the Chief Justice for finding some viable solution for this problem faced by the NRIs.
The chief minister said that these Sangat Darshans have helped him in having a deeper understanding of the problems faced by the NRIs through mutual discussion.
Meanwhile, Congress attacked the state government on the issue of lack of investments by NRIs in Punjab alleging that the deteriorating law and order situation in the state has scared them away.
"Why would those who feel insecure, whose wealth is confiscated, invest here?" state Congress General Secretary Satnam Kainth said. Alleging that rampant corruption is prevailing in Punjab, he said unless efforts are made to root-out corruption, no such gatherings can ensure investments.
Former finance minister of Punjab and the chief minister's nephew Manpreet Badal said favourable conditions will have to be created to attract investments.
Calling the government "agenda-less" he said, "Sometimes the government protests against drug menace while at other instances, it calls for release of prisoners. I wonder what has happened to a visionary like CM Badal," he said.