`NRIs` response on voting rights not encouraging`

Union Minister Vayalar Ravi on Thursday admitted that response from Non-Resident Indians on voting rights has not been encouraging.

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

"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

"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


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