The Punjab government is planning to change revenue laws keeping in mind the problems faced by Punjabi Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who get entangled in family disputes pertaining to land, NRI affairs minister Tota Singh said on Saturday.
The minister was here to attend a review meeting at the district administrative complex to look into the complaints submitted by NRIs to chief minister Parksah Singh Badal during his sangat darshan programme in Phagwara on Friday.
He said since most of these cases pertain to land disputes, the state government is planning to bring amendments in revenue laws to help both NRIs and the general public so that they don’t get entangled in a lengthy legal procedure.
The state government is planning to start two more fast-track courts in Moga and Ludhiana to deal with these cases, he said.
The minister said a five-member committee will be set up in all districts soon to deal with NRI cases as their number is rising. At present, a person entangled in a land dispute has to get through five stages to get it cleared and the government is planning to bring it to just two stages, the minister said.
Two sets of rule will be put in place for people having five to 10 acres of land and for those owning more than 10 acres, he added.
The state government has been banking on NRI investment for the past seven years. During his recent sangat darshans, the chief minister has conceded that the state government has failed to attract NRI investments in the state and this shows a sense of distrust the community has when it comes to doing business in Punjab.
Sanjay Kumar, principal secretary, NRI affairs Punjab, who was also present at the meeting, said, “The chief minister has directed me to submit a report within 15 days about the status of the complaints so that people belonging to this community (NRI) win back their confidence in the state government.”
In the revenue meeting, it was announced that around 50% of NRI complaints have been solved at the district level and the officials reviewing the rest will resolve them at the earliest.
Sanjay Kumar said the CM has decided to personally talk to the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court and request him expedite the cases pertaining to NRIs in various courts across the state.
Besides, the cases which can be solved at the official level should be resolved on a priority basis, he added.
During the sangat darshan on Friday, the CM received 176 complaints from Moga, 174 from Ludhiana and 234 complaints from Jalandhar district.
During the meeting, officials solved 38 complaints out of a total of 67 pertaining to land deals received from NRIs in Jalandhar district. Similar revenue meetings will be held in other districts to solve NRI cases.
Deputy commissioner Kamal Kishor Yadav said, “As per the state government’s direction relief will be provided to NRIs in a time-bound manner. The district administration will also ensure that complaints which can be solved at the official level will be taken up on a priority basis.”
NRI Sabha meets Tota Singh
Members of the NRI Sabha, Punjab, handed over a memorandum to NRI affairs minister Tota Singh on Saturday and requested him to ensure free and fair elections to the Sabha. In the memorandum, the members also requested him to keep tabs on the voter list and ensure no non-NRI member votes.