2008 in Chandigarh on Jan 05
Jan 05, 2007
Gary Singh/Los Angeles
On Saturday, Mr.Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP and SAD
working president unveiled SAD-BJP vision of a new Punjab and
said that state was all set to move into a higher orbit of progress
and development. Over 500 NRI delegates were present at the semmelan
as against confirmed participation of 200. Badal had to apologize
for lack of proper arrangements.
A senior official at the Taj Hotel said, “We were told
that the guests would number around 250. But now they are over
550. We have the back up to cater to them with food and other
things but there is not enough space for people to sit or stand.
We are trying our best.”
NRI semmelan was chaired by Punjab
Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal after the lunch. Mr.Sukhbir
Singh Badal and Mr.HS Mattewal, Advocate General Punjab were the
co-chairman of the semmelan.
For referring 'Punjab Vision' through
a power point presentation, Sukhbir Singh Badal said:
- The focus of this Sammelan is what Punjab Government can do
for NRIs and not what NRIs can do for Punjab
- Punjab was the land of opportunities and the NRIs participating
in growth this year would reap benefits in next 10 years.
- Our mission is to the bridge the gap between the Indian Punjab
and the world Punjab. Today Punjab is the land of opportunities.
Foreign countries do not need investment. It is Punjab that
needs investment. If you invest now you will get the benefit
- The problems faced by NRIs includes lack of airport in Punjab,
bad roads and power cuts. But I assure you and promise to change
it all. Work at most projects will start immediately and will
be concluded within three years.
- Since Punjab does not have a sea port, the Badal government
is concentrating on the expansion of airports at Amritsar, Bathinda,
Ludhiana and Pathankot
- NRIs will reach home in one or two hours after landing in
Mohali or Amritsar. About 30- 40 per cent buses on Punjab roads
will be air-conditioned by the year-end and 70 per cent by next
year. Travel for NRIs will become very comfortable as the government
to introduce radio cabs in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar and
Mohali in three to four months.
- In future no constriction will be allowed in any of the seven
town planning authorities, unless it conforms to a master plan
being prepared by a Singapore-based company called Jurong
- If Dubai can have a 100-storey building, why can’t
Punjab replicate it? We have decided you can build as high as
you want to, provided you have adequate parking in the basement.
- SAD-BJP would take care of every problem, including the shortage
of power for which the state would soon be producing 5000 MW.
We will become a power surplus state and sell power to other
states like the "Sheikhs sell oil”, leaving it at
that for NRIs to ponder and invest in Punjab
The Chief Minister, Parkash singh badal released
a book titled "Overview of legal issues" for NRIs. Addressing
to the queries raised by NRIs, the Chief Minister said:
- I assure you all the 1300 cases of proclaimed offenders would
be reviewed within next two months. I informed all the SPs headquarters,
has been designated as SP NRI to deal with the cases pertaining
to NRIs at priority and the image of state police would be made
people friendly to redress the grievances of NRIs at the priority.
- The Punjab government is setting up six police stations for
NRIs. These police stations will be set up in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur,
Kapurthala, Moga, Nawanshahr and Ludhiana districts. All of
them will have web-enabled hotlines and each will have jurisdiction
over the entire state.
- The state government has also designated senior officers in
the Punjab Police to look after NRI affairs exclusively.
- The state government is also setting up of a fast track court
at Jalandhar to deal with their property and revenue cases.
Certain amendments had already been made in the Land Tenancy
Act and Rent Act to protect the property owned by NRIs in Punjab.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had been approached to set
up fast track courts for the NRIs to dispose of their disputes
in the shortest possible time. A senior officer has also been
posted at Delhi to deal with NRI issues.
- If any NRI wanted to invest money in setting up a school,
hospital or other institution at his village, the state government
would put 75 per cent share in it.
- We are setting up a committee under senior Akali Dal leader,
former central minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and MP Navjot
Singh Sidhu, to deal with issues relating to NRIs.
- I also announced the setting up of an empowered committee
headed by Chief Secretary RI Singh to clear NRI projects quickly.
Another committee, which will also have NRIs members, will look
into the problems of NRIs and resolve them. All revenue records
will be put up on a web site so that NRIs can get details at
the click of a mouse.
One news reporer told NRI press that the chief minister himself,
while listening to suggestions and grievances of the NRIs present,
kept asking them to give their mobile numbers and offered to give
those of his ministers and bureaucrats to solve their problems.
The CM said, “You can come to my residence or call for an
appointment. I will give you an appointment as per your convenience.”
US NRI, not like to mention his name, said, "Do you beleive
this?. It did not happened for the past ten years. Let we see
and trust this statement."
Some popular leaders who spoke on the function are MP Sukhdev
Singh Dhindsa, senior Akali Leader and former Minister Balwinder
Singh Bhunder, Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Industry
Minister Manoranjan Kalia, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal
and President Punjab BJP Prof. Rajinder Bhandari
Others who attended the NRI semmelan were
Transport Minister Mr.Mohan Lal, Rural Development Minister Mr.Ranjit
Singh Brahmpura, Media Advisor Mr.Harcharan Bains to CM, Advisor
to CM Dr.DS Cheema, Special Principal Secretary to CM KJS Cheema,
Principal Secretary Financde DS Kalha, Secretary Technical Education
NS Kalsi, Special Secretary cum Director Information Technology
Mr.Rakesh Verma, Principal Secretary Industry AR Talwar, Secretary
Housing & Urban Development Arun Goyal, Commissioner NRI Affairs
Mr.AS Chhatwal, Principal Secretary Tourism Ms.Geetika Kalha,
Director Information & Public Relations Mr.Tejveer Singh and
Director Industries Mr.VK Janjua
Some of the prominent NRI entrepreneurs
and politicians who attended the semmelan were:
Dhaliwal M.P. from Newton, BC, Canada-
By profession, Sukh is a Professional Engineer and British
Columbia Land Surveyor. He said, "NRIs don't have too much
time. If they want to invest here, they want things to move fast.
Otherwise they lose interest."
Dosanj, Former British Columbia premier and MP, BC, Canada-
He was asked the reasons why NRIs were not investing in
Punjab- the Canadian MP said lack of basic infrastructure had
prevented them from investing in India, though he stressed that
the number of those who could actually invest was very less. He
also said the large-scale construction activities are being undertaken
on agriculture land in Punjab, which could lead to elimination
of farms. The construction of buildings should be vertical so
that agriculture land does not get reduced.
singh Malhi, MP, Bramalea--Gore--Malton, Ont. Canada- He
was talking good about sukhbir singh badal. Major problems of
NRIs- about passport problems created by punjab police due to
a small dispute He said Govt. should appoint IAS level officer
on Amritsar & delhi Airports to help the NRI. He also raised
question about black-listed NRIs and reservation for NRIs in all
fields. NRI SABHA should be answerable to public for these all
dhalla M.P. from Bramton-Springdale: She said there
should be a office in canada and other countries to provide information
to NRIs. She also talked about frauds marriges of punjabi girls
and must be stopped.
Harinder Takhar from Canada
- Mr. Varinder sharma M.P. from U.K. said ----"the
idea of CM is good to develop the basic infrastructure but some
body tell me from where they got finance, Govt. is encourage the
NRI to invest in punjab, first win the confidence of NRIs and
release their properties from others. Even though the development
in infrastructure was not upto the desired level, yet there was
quiet a good progress and development on this front too",
he remarked. "This development impressed NRIs."
- Baroness Usha Prashar, UK
Loomha from London
- Lord Daljeet Rana, UK
- Mr.Pajit Walia from New York of Royal Bank of Canada
- Neena Gill - Member of EV Parliament from Brussels
- ROMA SINGH (editor-in-chif of KAURS )
- S.Keher singh (President shiromani akali dal canada
Sant Chhatwal hotelier ready to spend Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000
crore in Punjab
I have a cheque book
in my pocket and prepared to invest right now
but the government should provide a right atmosphere for the same
Chhatwal plans 2 hotels
A seven-star in Mohali and a heritage hotel in Amritsar
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 5
Sant Singh Chhatwal, one of the leading hotelier
of the USA, here today said he was ready to spend Rs 1,500 crore
to Rs 2,000 crore in hotel industry in Punjab provided he was
not made to wait along the corridors of bureaucrats. “I
have a cheque book in my pocket and prepared to invest right now
but the government should provide a right atmosphere for the same,”
Asked that he made a similar statement 10 years ago, Sant Singh
said he was ready to invest then also but no one took him seriously.
“As the Punjab government did not respond, I invested in
southern states. I plan to set up 25 hotels in Southern cities,
including Hyderbad, Cochin, Bangalore and others. First hotel
in the south would be inaugurated on January 10 and another in
“I feel that Mohali is now ready for setting up a seven-star
hotel and other cities like Ludhiana and Jalandhar are ready for
five-star hotels. However, first I will opt to set up a heritage
hotel at Amritsar. I am prepared to take Gobindgarh Fort at Amritsar
for setting up the hotel,” he added.
“I have talked to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today
in this regard and if he clears the proposal, I would go ahead
with it soon,” he said, adding that he had a plan to invest
Rs 5,000 crore in next four years in India in hotel industry.
Asked whether the setting up of the heritage hotel will be a
profitable for him, he said though every business invested money
to earn profit but he would not mind losing money if he was allowed
to set up the hotel at Amritsar.
Sant Singh, who belongs to Faridkot, said for the past seven
years, he had been visiting the Golden Temple on New Year without
“Even when I got my corporate plane, I came to the Golden
Temple to perform ardas,” he said.