October 2023 \ News \ News

Chandigarh: India’s decision to stop visas for Canadian citizens - and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s silence on the issue - is proving too costly for Punjabis and the decision is badly affecting lives of thousands of Punjabis and the state is heading for big economic crisis due to this decision, Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia said in October.

In a statement released in the Punjab capital, Majithia said the decision to stop visas for Canadian citizens has come at a time when wedding season is about to start. He said there are a large number of Punjabi families settled in Canada who are now Canadian citizens who prefer to perform marriages in Punjab.

Apart from such families there are others who come for getting treatment as medical treatment is cheap in India and then there are others who come for attending family emergencies and personal losses and others. The SAD leader said it is surprising to see that Chief Minister Mann is shockingly silent on the issue even after more than fortnight has passed since the decision has been implemented to suspend visas.

He said India’s decision after only a single incident is highly discriminatory for Punjabis and Mann’s silence on the issue indicates he is hand in glove with top BJP leadership which has been proved a number of times. Data from the Ministry of Tourism suggests that more than 24 per cent of Canadian tourists visiting India usually come in wedding seasons. He said this means thousands of those who are involved in catering business, marriage palaces and hotels, ticket bookings and tourism industry are all set to receive a big setback this season.

Apart from those who come to Punjab for attending sports melas have also been deprived of these occasions due to this decision. He said thousands of cancellations were being reported in both industries which are a cause of huge worry as it was leading Punjab towards a big economic crisis. Majithjia urged both nations to resolve this international issue amicably through one to one talks so that the common man can be spared huge sufferings.