During a trip to the USA in September 2012, Mr J.P. Agarwal, MP and President, Delhi State Congress Committee, made significant interactions with the NRI community. The trip was organized and coordinated by the Indian National Overseas Congress, and in particular by leading members such as Pam Kwatra, Gurmeet Singh Gill and Eric Kumar. He was also honoured with the Charter of the City of New York by public advocate Bill de Blair. He termed the NRIs as ambassadors of India, and it was through their performance that the world formed impressions on India. “The world will listen to you since you are all ambassadors of India,” he said while addressing gatherings that had up to 700 in attendance. Some moments from his trip are captured in photographs.
During his interactions in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Michigan, Mr Agarwal raised the following main issues:
- There are roughly 27 million Overseas Indians. Approximately 9 million are those who can be classified as NRIs, holding Indian passports. India needs to work towards voting by Postal / Internet ballots for the benefit of NRIs (9 million). Even those who have emigrated during last 50 years, but have taken citizenship of the country of domicile (NRIs turned PIOs), have families and relatives in India. These two categories of people have a direct interest in the political and economic conditions in India. These people want a say by way of voting power. At the moment, NRIs can vote, but only if they are present in India on the day of voting and are registered voters.
- Dual Citizenship has been a long standing demand of a section of NRIs, and Mr Agarwal said that he’d be doing his utmost to take up the issue in right earnest.
- NRIs who invest in properties in India are sometimes conned by dubious developers and fly-by-night operators. At times their properties in India that are long unattended are encroached upon. We realize that many NRIs are suffering in long legal battles in courtrooms. They are unable to present themselves during court dates and the opposition party takes full advantage of such situations. He said he would work towards having a single window for property disputes by
- Elder care was an important area and he’d like to take up this issue in earnest. There were many elderly in India whose children were in the USA, and much needed to be done to safeguard them and their interests.
- He said that it was in the interests of India to host a Business Summit for NRIs, and towards his direction he was completely focused and would be happy to invite NRIs to India.