`NRIs` response on voting rights not encouraging`
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 05, 2012, 16:07
  
New Delhi: Admitting that response from Non- Resident Indians on voting rights has not been encouraging, Union Minister Vayalar Ravi on Thursday said Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry is in talks with the Election Commission to simplify process of registering themselves for exercising the right.

The ministry would try to resolve the problems which have erupted with regard to registration of NRIs for voting rights and a modification in the modus operandi may be needed, he said.

"The government will confer voting rights on every Indian. Only thing is NRIs should register themselves. I believe some issues have cropped up. Many people have complained that they have not been able to travel all the way to embassies to register their name. The response has not been encouraging so far," he said.

Ravi said the ministry has taken up the issue with the Election Commission and a solution would be found to the problem. The government had in 2010 allowed millions of NRIs to vote in elections by giving them the right to exercise their franchise.

To a question, Ravi said NRIs who have already registered can exercise their franchise during the Assembly elections to five states, including Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

The minister said the global economic crisis and the Arab revolution did not have major impact on Indians living abroad with only an additional 1.2 lakh people returning home in 2011.

"Usually, 2 lakh people return to India every year. But last year 1.2 lakh additional people returned. It is not much. The global economic turndown and Arab Spring did not have much effect on Indians. There has been some impact but not much," he said.

In this regard, he said there has been an increase in the number of people going abroad in the past two years. In 2010, over eight lakh people went to different Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries like nations in Gulf than six lakh in 2009.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, January 05, 2012, 16:07


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