MEA asked to develop closer contact with Indian diaspora

New Delhi: The parliamentary panel on external affairs has asked the external affairs ministry (MEA) to make “concerted efforts” to create an authentic database of the Indian diaspora and use it to prepare welfare schemes for overseas Indians.

In a report titled “Welfare of Indian Diaspora: Policies/Schemes” submitted to Lok Sabha, the committee on external affairs headed by PP Chaudhary expressed surprise that “authentic data of the Indian diaspora is not available” with the ministry.

The Indian diaspora comprises 13 million non-resident Indians (NRIs) spread across the globe and more than 18 million people of Indian origin (PIOs). The committee said Indian embassies and posts abroad “should play a more proactive role, maintain greater outreach and develop closer contact with the diaspora community and encourage them to register themselves” with missions so that an authentic database is maintained. This can be used as the basis for preparing and implementing welfare schemes for the diaspora.

The parliamentary panel also expressed surprise over the lack of a “clear-cut policy” on the Indian diaspora, despite the community “playing a very important role in the socio-economic development of their home country”.

It recommended that the external affairs ministry should issue a policy document on the diaspora to serve as a guide for “deeper and wider engagement” with the community with the objective that “all involved in the process of diaspora affairs may work in tandem to achieve the objectives set in this regard”.

Punjab Govt to bring new policy for NRIs

Chandigarh: Punjab Cabinet minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said on August 3 that the state government will come out with a new policy for NRIs in order to address their issues effectively.

Dhaliwal chaired a meeting with the senior officers of the NRI department here and discussed the draft of new Non-Resident Indian (NRI) policy with them and with members of the NRI Commission, Punjab, according to an official statement.

He said the Punjab government has launched a program to connect NRI Punjabi youths with their roots. The government will also launch a program for the NRI Punjabi elderly people in order to provide them with free travel to religious and historical places of the state.

The NRI Affairs minister said efforts were being made to establish NRI Lok Adalats on the lines of civil Lok Adalats to resolve their issues. In these courts, land and marriage disputes, especially, will be settled on the spot by mutual consent, which will have a legal recognition, he said.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: theprint.in)

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