India will be opening 40 new consulate sub-offices soon in countries that have a strong presence of non-resident Indians, Akali Dal’s MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said on Sunday as he was referring to a "communication received from the External Affairs Ministry".
"India is going to open 40 new consulate sub-offices in countries where NRIs have settled in large numbers," the Anandpur Sahib MP said in a statement here.
Chandumajra had been taking up the issues concerning NRIs in general, especially Punjabi NRIs. He said that he had recently received a word from the Ministry of External Affairs in this regard.
Referring to countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia, where NRIs had to travel long to get visas from consulate offices, the Akali Dal general secretary and spokesperson said, "They had been demanding more sub-offices in their respective countries. This step would go a long way in mitigating their problems."
The Indian government has also agreed for people from Punjab who have settled abroad on political asylum to visit India along with their families for up to two years in a stretch.
Informing that he had been pressuring the government for these people to be treated as “economic asylum-seekers:, he said: “A large number of people had sought political asylum in countries including the United States, Canada and Germany, despite never being active in the militancy (earlier in Punjab). However, once they were granted asylum on political grounds, it became impossible for them to visit.