Migration process to be upgraded

New Delhi: Government on Friday said it will transform the migration process into a fully transparent mechanism within a year.

Updated: Nov 25, 2011, 14:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Government on Friday said it will
transform the migration process into a fully transparent
mechanism within a year under which all stakeholders like
Indian Missions and emigration authorities will be linked
through an online portal for providing seamless services to
those wanting to go abroad for jobs.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, addressing
a conference of heads of missions of Gulf region, said the
migration process is being upgraded to ensure orderly
migration and check unscrupulous agents who often dupe Indians
promising greener pastures abroad.

"Within 52 weeks, we would be able to to provide a common
electronic platform for all concerned in the process of
migration. This system would link the e-passport system,
migration system, Proctor of Emigration offices and Indian
Missions abroad to provide a seamless service of migration
clearance," he said.

Ravi said government has already prepared a draft of a
new immigration law which will transform the migration process
into a simple and transparent mechanism.

Expressing serious concern over incidents of harassment
and exploitation of Indians in the Gulf region, he said the
government was determined to ensure safety, security and
welfare of the diaspora community.

"The safety, security and welfare of Indian workers is of
primary importance. Mostly concentrated in the Gulf, they are
often exploited in India and abroad. Their living conditions
abroad are not very good. We have a great responsibility to
address their needs and concerns," he said.

The Gulf region has been a preferred destination for
Indians. As per official estimate, nearly five million workers
are currently living in the Gulf region which accounts for an
average of 27 per cent of the total remittance inflows to
India, with major source countries being the UAE and Saudi
Arabia.

Ravi said Government will launch a social security net
for Indian workers returning to India.

"We are going to launch a scheme which would provide for
resettlement funds, insurance cover and pension provisions for
emigrant Indian workers," he said.

Noting that many initiatives were taken to help the
Indians abroad, he said government has set up a welfare fund
in all the missions to provide relief to Indian workers in
need and distress.

"One of the major problems being faced by Indian Workers
in the ECR countries is that their contract conditions like
wages, service conditions are changed when they land in such
countries.

"In order to overcome this problem, we are initiating
with the UAE government to launch a web-based attestation
system of employment," Ravi said, noting that Government has
taken several significant initiatives to ensure orderly
movement of workers abroad and to punish those involved in
illegal migration.

Talking about the new Emigration management Bill he said,
it would provide for greater transparency and better
regulation in the migration process while deterrent punishment
has been proposed to the offenders. The draft provides for
more power to police to deal with unscrupulous agents who dupe
those migrating to other countries.

"Above all, it would ensure protection and welfare of
Indian workers and make the migration process humane and
orderly.

Besides Mission Heads of GCC countries, the two-day
conference is being attended by ambassadors and high
commissioners of Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and
Tanzania.

PTI