Punjab government to introduce act to safeguard property of Non-Resident Indians within three months

Phagwara (Punjab) (PTI): The Punjab government will introduce the NRI Property Safeguards Act within three months to solve problems of those residing overseas in an effective, quick and transparent manner, an official said on Friday.

The government is also mulling creating the Institution of Ombudsman for resolving issues of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Punjab NRI Affairs, principal secretary, S R Ladhar said.

He said that if implemented, the body would solve issues of NRIs on a fast-track basis.

On the new NRI Property Safeguards Act, Ladhar said that its draft has been sent to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who also holds the portfolio of NRI Affairs.

“The government will bring the Act within three months for solving problems of NRIs in an effective, quick and transparent way,” he said, adding that it would provide for time-bound solutions of NRI property disputes.

“District authorities will be given three months for addressing property issues of NRIs. If they don’t resolve it in the stipulated time, then a state-level appellate body will hear the appeal and resolve the matter within three months. If the dispute persists, then the matter can be taken to the high court,” Ladhar said.

He said that civil suits, marital matters, domestic issues and other NRI affairs would be addressed by the proposed Ombusdman, who would likely be a retired judge of a high court.

Ladhar said that he would meet the chief minister on November 30 for discussing NRI issues, including the over-due election of the Punjab NRI Sabha.

He said that the state government had launched a scheme ‘Connect with Your Roots’ to bring NRI youths living abroad closer to their ancestral places.