Punjab government pressing hard to bring back Punjabis stranded abroad: Rana Sodhi
NRI Affairs Minister meets coordinators appointed in various countries through vc
Chandigarh: For assessing the situation of Punjabis stuck abroad due to the pandemic, NRI Affairs Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi on Saturday held a video conference with the coordinators appointed in various countries of the world to coordinate with concerned governments and NRIs. He also reviewed the arrangements to bring them back. On this occasion these coordinators also expressed gratitude to Rana Sodhi for the help being rendered by the Punjab government to bring back these foreigners in this difficult time.
During the meeting, Rana Sodhi informed that the state government is making all out efforts to bring back Punjabis stuck and with the concerted efforts of the government these Punjabis are constantly returning home. He said that as per the guidelines of the Government of India, all the foreigners were being sent for quarantine period of 14 days on their return from the airport. He said that all these are staying in hotels and the state government is making arrangements for needy people who could not afford the cost of hotels and the small amount is charging for food from them.
On the suggestion of the coordinators, the Minister said that he would talk to the Chief Minister to arrange accommodation for the needy free of cost. During the meeting, He asked the secretary of the department Mr. Rahul Bhandari to make arrangements for the accommodation of such persons in government guest houses. However in order to arrange special flights for Indians stranded in various far flung cities of the world, the officials of the department were asked to coordinate with the embassies of the concerned countries so that the stranded Punjabis could be brought back. The coordinators said that in case the number of passengers exceeds the arranged capacity, then priority would be given to needy, elderly, women, children and sick people.
Rana Sodhi also told coordinators that they should also help students for fee settlement with their educational institutions as these students have already paid advance fees but now they are forced to return back due to the lockdown. The meeting also discussed the issue of NRIs stranded in India, some of whom are facing some difficulties in returning to their home countries. NRIs Affairs Minister said that the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts were being instructed to appoint Nodal Officers to assist the NRIs. Secretary of the department Mr. Rahul Bhandari said that passes being arranged for them to go to airport by the concerned District Administrations after ticket were issued.