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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Virtual facilities before NRI meet, real later

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, January 06, 2014
First Published: 20:06 IST(6/1/2014) | Last Updated: 21:00 IST(6/1/2014)

Life insurance, dedicated fast-track court, airport-lounge membership: a lot is on the cards for Punjabi non-resident Indians (NRIs).

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Preparing for the 2014 NRI Sammelan, where he hopes to see a "quality crowd" of expatriates, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday here launched a web portal (nripunjab.gov.in) and 24x7 telephone helpline (0172-672301) dedicated to the Punjabi diaspora. Anandpur Sahib and Jalandhar are venues for the two-day event starting on January 10.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2014/1/BadalLaunchingWebSite_compressed.jpg

"The NRI meet this year will have three times more participants, including some eminent personalities whom even the Centre's Pravasi Bharatiya Sammelan is unable to rope in," Sukhbir said at the inauguration of the portal designed to redress the NRIs' grievances.

On January 10 at Virasat-e-Khalsa complex in Anandpur Sahib, elected representatives from six continents will give their suggestions to the Punjab government. Three Punjabi-origin union ministers of Canada will take part, along with 15 parliamentarians, 7 legislators and mayors, 32 journalists, and 11 chiefs of gurdwara committees. In Jalandhar on January 11, the NRIs will discuss their issues.

"The Punjab government will create a separate civil setup and a special fast-track court for the NRIs," said Sukhbir, adding: "The separation of the NRI wing from mainstream policing brought good results, with 3,000 cases registered in 2013, of which, 2,100 were solved."

People holding the NRP (non-resident Punjabi) card introduced last year will be entitled to a life insurance of `5 lakh, and membership of airport lounges. On the new portal, they can apply for the NRP card, register complaints, and browse photo gallery and information.

Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal; cabinet ministers Bikram Singh Majithia, Ajit Singh Kohar Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Surjit Singh Rakhra, and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon; and former union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia were present.

Sukhbir asked the NRIs to adopt their native villages for development by paying just 25% of the total grant.

New services

Portal: nripunjab.gov.in
Telephone helpline: 0172-672301
Coming up: Life cover, fast-track court, airport-lounge membership.

Who's coming

Canada: ministers of state Tim Uppal and Bal Gosal; provincial parliament member Vic Dhillon; legislator Manmeet Bhullar, Peter Sandhu, McCall Darshan Kang; MPs Joe Daniel, Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Jogindera Sims, Parm Gill, and Nina Grewal; former MP Gurmant Grewal

New Zealand: MP Kamaljit Singh Bakshi
Malaysia: PM's advisor Daljit Singh Dhaliwal; MP Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh

UK: MP Lord Diljit Rana; Dr Onkar Singh Sahota; Hounslow mayor Sachin Gupta

Pakistan: Legislators Ramesh Singh Arora and Kanji Raam

Afghanistan: Dr Anarkali Kaur Honaryar; president's adviser Dr Sham Lal Bhatija

Tanzania: MP Parmuck Singh Hoogan

Uganda: MP Parminder Singh Katongole

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