1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
CHANDIGARH – The blacklist of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), largely Sikhs, needs to be reviewed to help people of Indian origin settled abroad come to India freely, a senior Punjab minister said this week.

Finance Minister Upinderjit Kaur supported the North American Punjabi Association (Napa), which has asked the central government to review the blacklist, which bars certain individuals from entering India for their involvement with terror elements or for anti-national activities.

Kaur told a Napa delegation: “The time has come that union government should review the blacklist because after the restoration of peace in the state, these citizens should be given opportunity to return home and become partners in the state’s progress.”

Napa President Satnam Singh Chahal urged the Punjab government to take up the issues of NRIs with central government, including the Indian missions and embassies abroad.

Chahal said NRIs are generally subjected to humiliation at the hands of the Indian embassy staff. He alleged that the family members of those who got US citizenship on the basis of political asylum are being discriminated by refusal of visa.

“Those born and brought up in the US are also being denied visa for various reasons,” he added. “Over one lakh PIOs (persons of Indian origin) were deprived of the opportunity to visit India through flimsy excuses.”

The minister assured the delegation that the Punjab government will soon constitute a board for NRIs to provide fast relief to their disputes, especially in the matters of property, marital issues and immigration.

Kaur said NRIs have immense potential to invest in Punjab and become partners in the state’s development.

She added that the Punjab government had already ordered a comprehensive census of NRIs in Punjab so that schemes for their welfare could be initiated in a well-coordinated manner.



Aug 17, 2010
World citizen!
This is happening to Sikh NRI's the world over. New Zealand is considered a safe country by India, so much so that NZ citizens don't need visa's before arrival anymore. Yet last year a mother and child were treated like criminals and then deported as the child had the same name as a "terrorist" on their blacklist! The visa system has changed over the past few years making it much tougher for many NRI's to visit families and this is causing much resentment as well as alienating the next generation.