The Narendra Modi government has made a u-turn on its proposal to change the passport colour from blue to orange for people with Emigration Check Required (ECR) status.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday issued a statement in this regard, saying the government has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport. They will not be issuing a separate passport to ECR passport holders.
“Have decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders,” said the Ministry of External Affairs.
The last page of the passport contains information about parents, address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport details.
The decision by the government to issue a new orange coloured passport for those with ECR status had evoked sharp reactions from opposition parties. Congress president Rahul Gandhi had termed the move as one displaying “discriminatory mindset”.
Taking to Twitter, the Congress chief had said, “Treating India's migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset.”
Passports are currently issued in three colours – government officers are issued white passport, diplomats issued red passports and all others are blue.
According to MEA spokesperson, the orange passports were slated to be designed by the Indian Security Press in Nashik.