Punjab government would extend an invitation to 550 non-resident Indian (NRI) Punjabis on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev to be held during November 2019.

Disclosing this, NRI affairs minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said the Punjab government is in the process of chalking out since last year detailed programmes which would culminate in November 2019.

The minister also said that it has also been decided to invite 550 NRIs in order to enable them to witness the historic celebrations. Divulging more, the minister said that the arrangements of boarding, lodging as well as transportation would be made by the Punjab government. He also said that these NRI Punjabis would be taken to visit Sultanpur Lodhi, Batala and Dera Baba Nanak.

Rana Sodhi also directed the officers to formulate an effective mechanism for speedily redressing the grievances of the NRIs pertaining to property and marriages. The minister also said there should not be any delay in providing justice to the NRI community.

Divulging further, he said that the cases connected with the property fall under the Revenue Department and he would ensure that contact is established as soon as possible with the revenue department and their officers are deployed as the Nodal Officers at the grassroots level.

Adding more, the minister said that in order to honour the NRIs carving out a niche for themselves in various spheres thus earning laurels for the country, the ‘Achiever Awards’ would be started for which the department has been directed to work out the modalities.  The awards would be given from the next year.

The minister called upon the officers to work with all the more enthusiasm so as to ensure the success of the ‘Connect With Your Roots’ initiative launched by the Chief Minister to help connect the NRI Punjabi youth with their roots back home.

Rana Sodhi also directed the departmental officers to compile a report of various cases related to the NRIs lying pending in different wings and be submitted to him.

He also emphasised that a detailed record of the students going abroad for studies be maintained by the department apart from the maintenance of records related to the youth facing problems abroad who had gone to the foreign shores in search of jobs. This would come in handy for the Punjab Government to render them all possible help in the hour of need in collaboration with the Union external affairs ministry, the minister added.