No Orange Passport: Ministry of External Affairs

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Ministry of External Affairs Plans to issue separate orange passports to “unskilled” workers and others requiring emigration clearance have been dropped, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The Ministry of External Affairs has done a U-turn on the controversial decision to issue passports with orange covers for Indian migrant workers for whom an Emigration Check Required (ECR) stamp is mandatory before they are allowed to embark for a set of designated countries

According to sources, representations had poured in from Indians and non-resident Indians, ministries and state governments.

A decision was taken by the Ministry of External Affairs on the recommendations of a three-member Committee comprising officials of MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, not to print the last page of Passport Booklet. MEA also took the decision to issue a passport with an orange colour jacket to passport holders with ECR status, with a view to help and assist them on a priority basis.

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The MEA has received several individuals and collective representations requesting to reconsider these two decisions. At a meeting chaired by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, on 29th January, 201. Dr V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, the decision of the MEA on both these issues were reviewed in the light of these representations.

After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with an orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders.