MEA goes back on decision; on orange coloured passports, last page printing

passport can continue to serve as an address-proof document

MEA goes back on decision; on orange coloured passports, last page printing

It seems that the Ministry of External Affairs has gone back on its decision on the printing of last page of passports.

This is being seen as largely due to the objections raised in many quarters including by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The Ministry thus has dropped on its idea of issuing the separate orange-coloured passports to citizens with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status, that is mostly required by less-skilled workers.

The last page of the passport contains “information such the name of the father, mother, spouse, address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number, with date and place of issue of the holder of the passport”.

Rahul Gandhi had opposed the plan to issue separate orange-coloured passports to citizens with ECR status, saying that it shows the BJP’s “discriminatory mindset” and had accused the government of treating India’s migrant workers as second class citizens.

As the last page also contains the address of the holder, Tuesday’s decision means the passport can continue to serve as an address-proof document, which has allayed the fears of some after the earlier decision.

The rollback was justified by the MEA on the grounds that it had received several representations against the earlier two decisions.

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