Criticising the Punjab government for organising the NRI Sammelan, which began on Friday, Union Minister Manish Tewari asked it to look into "real" problems faced by the community, like harassment and victimisation, which remain unresolved.
"The Punjab government should go beyond the ritualistic sammelans for the Non-Resident Indians as their problems remain unresolved, as a few years ago since this ritual was started," Tewari said in a statement here.
He said the real problems of the non-resident Indian community persisted as they faced "harassment, victimisation and persecution".
The Congress leader said he had received several complaints from NRIs and their relatives in Punjab that they were feeling victimised due to the "callous, indifferent and sometimes hostile attitude" of the local authorities.
He said NRIs come with great expectations to participate in these meets, but very soon their euphoria fizzles out as they are confronted with the same harsh realities they have been facing for years. "Nothing has actually changed for them," he said.
Tewari, who represents Ludhiana in Lok Sabha, asked the state government to formulate a policy for NRIs, saying they can play an important role in the socio-economic progress of Punjab.
"I have come across so many NRIs who have genuine intentions to contribute towards the state's development but unfortunately they get no cooperation at all from the state government here," he said, asking the government not to fool unsuspecting NRIs with "false promises and false commitments".