New Delhi: The Centre has finalised the draft Emigration Bill and has now left it to the public for feedback, said reports on Friday. This would address the problems of migrants and also help regulate the movement of Indians overseas for work or education. Also Read - Misleading, Incorrect, Misplaced: Centre Slams Freedom House Report That Downgraded India to 'Partly Free'

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The bill follows an appeal by the Parliament standing committee to the Ministry of External Affairs to complete drafting of the proposed legislation. One key feature of the new act would be an  Emigration Management Authority to oversee the welfare of emigrants.

“It will be the overarching authority to provide policy guidance, undertaking comprehensive review and stocktaking on emigration management related matters,” the MEA said. The Authority would be a multi-ministry agency, with representatives from the ministries of Home and Human Resources and also states. It would be led by a  joint secretary to handle operational matters. The new legislation aims to create nodal offices in all states.

The MEA came faced flak for inordinate delay in getting the legislation going. In its report, the standing committee said, “If the country of origin is negligent about its duties towards its migrant workers, how can we have expectations from the destination countries?”

As per the bill, registration/intimation of all categories of Indian nationals going for work or students moving for higher studies would be mandatory. There would be a digital platform to keep the emigration process hassle-free. The NDA government had set up a portal to assist Indian workers overseas, particularly in the Gulf countries. The current Act deals mainly with Indian workers going to the Gulf.