ABU DHABI, Aug. 15, 2004
By Anjana Sankar
Decentralisation of attestation procedures which will
allow state governments to undertake the task directly can avoid the
cumbersome delay faced by the NRIs in getting their degrees attested,
suggested a member of the Indian Parliament.
P.C. Thomas who also served as Minister of State for
Law and Justice under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government
said yesterday that he will take up the matter in the parliament along
with other issues like a budget airline and the resettlement of NRIs
going back to India.
He was in Abu Dhabi yesterday to participate in the
Independence Day celebrations held by the India Social and Cultural
We have already pressurised the government to
improve the facilities at the attestation centre in Delhi. If the state
governments are accorded the power to directly attest the certificates,
it will spare the people of the hassle of travelling to Delhi or the
On the ongoing debate about the imperativeness of a
budget airline from the Gulf countries, Mr Thomas remarked that since
airlines are no more a luxury with the low income class using the facility,
the NRIs demand for one with minimum luxuries is justified and
he will represent their pleas.
The various associations representing India have
also raised the issue concerning resettlement of the NRIs to me. The
new NRI welfare department is a positive move that will focus on the
social welfare and security schemes for non-resident Indians by providing
them infrastructural support to start self-employment schemes and also
channelising their investment for the benefit of the state, Mr
Thomas noted. In the same breath, he added that Kerala needs a stronger
political representation in the centre to bargain better benefits and
allocation of funds that can accelerate many development projects in
the state. He also underlined the scope of tourism - both general and
medical, as having ample commercial prospects to attract lot of UAE
nationals to the country, especially Kerala.
Replying to questions posed by journalists on abolishing
capital punishment, the ex-minister said that he is of the opinion that
whatever be the severity of the crime, death penality should be avoided.
In the Indian penal code, there are other harsh punishments like
life imprisonment. The need of the hour is to speed up the judicial
procedure by the establishment of more fast-track courts to avoid the
long delays before getting the final verdict, he said adding that an
ambitious project to computerise the more than 600 district courts in
the country is in the pipeline. According to him, the state of
Kerala has already received 10 crores from the centre to computerise
its high court.