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Telangana Minister suggests Central Government to establish a Centralised data bank on Migrants in the Gulf region

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Hyderabad May 8, 2017: Telangana’s Minister for NRI Affairs K.T. Rao on Monday suggested the Centre establish a centralised data bank on migrants in the Gulf region.

Rao made the suggestion at a meeting called by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on issues related to Gulf migrants in New Delhi.

He said all states should have access to the centralised data to identify who all were moving to the countries in the Gulf.

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An official statement said the Minister also sought appointment of translators of Telugu language at all embassy offices in the Gulf countries.

Rao also urged the central government to come up with a specific policy for legal assistance to migrants by recruiting Indian-origin lawyers abroad. He also suggested an agreement with all Gulf nations to allow Indian migrant prisoners to complete their respective sentences in Indian jails.

As a few companies are unlawfully taking away passport of Indian migrants, Rao urged Sushma Swaraj to raise this human rights violation issue with authorities concerned.

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He also urged the MEA to form a Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss and emulate the best practices among states regarding issuance of passports, as well as welfare activities for the Gulf migrants.

Sushma Swaraj assured him on the GoM, which will meet once in three months to discuss the migrants’ issues.

The meeting was attended by two central ministers and ambassadors from Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. (IANS)

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Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS

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