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HindustanTimes Mon,01 Sep 2014

World

British MPs write to Manmohan Singh on visa bonds
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
London , July 20, 2013
First Published: 23:20 IST(20/7/2013)
Last Updated: 03:19 IST(21/7/2013)

A group of British MPs has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking if New Delhi was consulted over British plans to introduce controversial £3,000-visa bonds for high-risk visitors from India.

The query was sent in a letter from the British Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee to Singh. Nigeria, responding to a similar letter, has levelled the serious accusation of racial discrimination against Britain.

In the letter, committee chairman Keith Vaz, the senior British MP of Asian origin, asked Singh whether New Delhi had been consulted by London while drafting the visa-bond proposal and for an outline of the Indian government’s position on the issue.

According to the British government, the visa-bond will be enforced as a year-long pilot beginning in November.

Under the pilot, high-risk visitors — those who are most likely to overstay their visa - from India, Nigeria, Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will have to furnish a £3,000-bond.

The money will be returned when they leave Britain.

Also the Nigerian Ambassador to Britain has written to Vaz saying his country is “not favourably disposed to the proposal as it will affect a good number of Nigerians visiting the UK, even in spite of assurances to the contrary.”

“We view it as discriminatory and targeted at only non-white members of the Commonwealth,” Ambassador Dalhatu Sarki Tafida said.


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