Panaji: Expressing concern over increasing number of people from Goa surrendering their Indian passports to opt for Portuguese citizenship, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Tuesday said that the state government was pursuing the issue with the External Affairs Ministry.
"They are migrating not because there are no job opportunities here...It is a mentality to cross over the country borders. We need to change their mentality," Parsekar told the State Legislative Assembly here.
He said that everyday there is long queue of people outside the Portuguese consulate in Panaji.
"I feel that people spend hours together outside the consulate to get the passport. They are in a hurry to lose the citizenship of their country. This is sad," the Chief Minister said.
He said that since dual citizenship (Indian and Portuguese) was not permissible by the law, several Goans were facing problems.
"We have to take up this issue on priority. We are pursuing the issue with Union Ministry of External Affairs," Parsekar said.
"The state government will follow up the matter with the External Affairs Ministry to redress the issue of dual citizenship," he said.
He was responding to a question raised by BJP legislator Vishnu Surya Wagh in the House.
"The number of people getting Portuguese passport is on the rise. Is there any data available with the government on how many people have received Portuguese passport?" Wagh asked.
Parsekar said the total data about the number of passports cancelled is available with the Passport Office.
Goans, born prior to liberation of Goa, are entitled to opt for Portuguese citizenship, which can be obtained by submitting a simple application.
The state government had in the past unsuccessfully written to the Centre asking it to take up the issue of dual citizenship with Portugal.