Members of the UK-based Indian Workers' Association has demanded that the procedure getting Nativity Certificates (NC), used as proof of origin while applying for Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards, be made easier.
Association general secretary and United Kingdom-based non-resident Indian (NRI) Avtar Singh Johal said the Punjab government had modified the procedure to issue NCs in 2010, leading to unnecessary delays and harassment.
“Earlier, confirmation by nambardars or sarpanches was deemed sufficient, but now the power has been given to the district magistrates who issue certificates on the basis of inputs from the revenue department and police records. While the government had fixed a 30-day limit for the process, but certificates are rarely issued within the stipulated time,” he alleged.
“In many cases, applicants have been waiting for over six months to get their NCs. NRIs visiting the country have to spend most of their time trying to tackle administrative technicalities. They should be provided a hassle-free system,” he added.
NRI Lakha Singh said, “Each NRI is registered under the NRI Sabha and has a valid identity card, which is normally issued after proper verification. This can be used at par with the NC for issuing PIO and OCI cards.”
“The new procedure requires NRIs need to be present in person while applying for NCs. We want restoration of the procedure as it was before 2010, for the convenience of the NRIs,” he added.
Raising the issue of imposing property tax on NRIs' properties, he said, “Such unnecessary burdens would lead NRIs to migrate to neighbouring states where the governments redress NRIs' issues on priority. The government on one hand is organising NRI sammelans, but on the other hand, they have to face many difficulties due to the complexities of the administrative system.”