Punjab inks MoU with Centre for NRIs

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Chandigarh, May 26 (UNI) The Punjab Government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs for putting in place a structured mechanism for the welfare of Punjabis going to or already settled in different countries across the world.

Stating this, media adviser to Chief Minister Harcharan Bains said ''Altough the major thrust of the MoU is at creating awareness among the common Punjabis about problems faced in migration and employment-related issues, one of its key clauses concerns imparting vocational skills to the aspiring emigrants.'' Short-duration skill-training courses would be organised keeping in mind country-specific demand for skilled work-force from Punjab.

The MoU also provides for a stepped-up co-ordination between the Punjab and the Central government on legal aspects of migration from the state.

It also seeks a joint initiative for setting up help centres for solving immigration related problems at various airports and for providing emergency documentation in case of loss of passports abroad, said Mr Bains.

The MoU also envisaged the setting up of regional overseas workers resources centre for rendering assistance to potential emigrant workers from the state and supporting the awareness campaign on promoting legal migration and NRI marriages.

Taking strict deterrent action against unscrupulous recruiting agents and travel agents involved in illegal migration and checking on exploitation of workers and conducting research studies on issues relevant to emigration, especially on the productivity of workers and on countries with scope for future employment was also mentioned in the MoU.

''The principal objective of the MoU is to safeguard the interests and well being of potential immigrant workers against exploitative policies of their prospective employers and to ensure that they migrate legally only after acquiring skill levels required for working in the countries of their choice,'' he said.

Mr Bains said the state government had also decided to start a 24-hour toll free call centre to redress the grievances of the Punjabis settled across the globe.


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