New Delhi, Jan 14: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked the Centre for altering the Passport rules. Gandhi alleged that the Centre is treating migrant workers as second-class citizens by offering them Indian passport with an orange jacket. [Also read: Your Passport May No Longer be Valid Proof of Address: Here’s Why]
Government, in the latest set of rules, said the passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange color passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport. Applicants who have not cleared 12th standard are issued a passport with ECR status to work in 18 countries, mostly in Gulf nations.
“Treating India’s migrant workers like second-class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset”, tweeted Gandhi.
This apart, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that passports will no longer have the last page with the details of holder.
The last page 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.
Ministry said the rules were changed after a three-member Committee comprising of the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development submitted its recommendations.
The ministry added that the Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik, would be designing the new passport booklets in due course. Till such time the new passport booklets are designed, manufactured and made available to the Ministry by ISP, Nashik, the passports and other travel documents would continue to be printed with the last page.
The existing passports would continue to remain valid till the date of expiry printed in the passport booklet.”