Chandigarh, Nov 20: The Punjab Government will host an international Punjabi NRI 'Sammelan' at Chandigarh and Jalandhar on January 5 and 6 respectively next year.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here yesterday.
Addressing the meeting Mr Badal said the government was fully committed to the welfare of NRIs and for this purpose a separate department had already been set up to redress their problems. A Committee had also been constituted to identify the prominent NRIs, who would be honoured during the function.
The NRI 'Sabha', Jalandhar will also be associated with the programme.
The event would be the beginning of a regular process of live interaction between the state government and NRI Punjabis in the years to come. An apex committee, comprising of ruling alliance nominees in the government, SAD working President Sukhbir Singh Badal and BJP state Unit President Rajinder Bhandari, was being set up to oversee the preparations for the event.
The Punjab Information and Public Relations Department will be given responsibility for creating awareness about the Punjab Government's initiatives for NRIs.
The government would set up special counters at New Delhi, Chandigarh , Amritsar and Ludhiana to help the visiting NRIs right from the point of entry at airports to the venues of the event.
The first day of the event will include an interactive session on how best the state and NRIs can join hands for the development of Punjab. It would feature prominent Punjabi NRI personalities from different fields, including business, industry, education, infrastructure development, arts, literature and the media.
A scheme for development of the native areas of prominent NRIs with matching grants from the government would be brought into full operation.
The highlight of the second day would be an open interactive evening with NRIs. Celebrities from the world of music and other performing arts would regale the audience with cultural programmes on the concluding day.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has decided to conduct a state wide survey to collect the details regarding the Punjabi NRIs to prepare a comprehensive database. This would be used both for increasing the involvement of Punjabi NRIs in the life and progress of their native state and for preparing a document to pinpoint specific problems faced by them.
In addition, a comprehensive NRI directory would also be prepared and regularly updated for future interactive reference.