MEA, SBI sign MoU to create digital service for workers to pay emigration fees | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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MEA, SBI sign MoU to create digital service for workers to pay emigration fees

Jun 15, 2024 01:07 PM IST

The SBI’s digital payment service will be available through a payment gateway called SBIePay to migrant workers, recruiting agents and other users of the eMigrate portal, the external affairs ministry said on Saturday

New Delhi: The external affairs ministry and the State Bank of India (SBI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide a digital payment service that can be used by Indian migrant workers to pay emigration-related fees without transaction charges. 

 (Representative Photo)
(Representative Photo)

The SBI’s digital payment service will be available through a payment gateway called SBIePay to migrant workers, recruiting agents and other users of the eMigrate portal, the external affairs ministry said on Saturday. The service will be operational after the integration of SBIePay with the eMigrate portal. 

Once the agreement is implemented, migrant workers can pay various emigration-related fees without transaction charges through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), credit or debit cards and NEFT through net banking of all Indian banks. 

“Signing of this MoU would further facilitate and enhance the ambit of safe and legal migration of Indian migrant workers,” the ministry said. 

The MoU was signed by Bramha Kumar, joint secretary (overseas employment and Protector General of Emigrants) of the external affairs ministry and Neelesh Dwivedi, general manager (NW-I) of the SBI. 

The Overseas Employment (OE) and Protector General of Emigrants (PGE) division of the external affairs ministry is responsible for overseeing the emigration of Indian workers having Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) category passports. These are semi-skilled and unskilled workers who are considered most vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous recruitment agents or foreign employers. 

ECR passport holders require Emigration Clearance (EC) when taking up jobs in the 18 designated ECR countries – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 

The eMigrate portal is integrated with the external affairs ministry’s Passport Seva Project to validate the passport details of ECR category workers. This integration helps detect fake passport cases and check for data entry errors at the registration stage.

The eMigrate portal is also integrated with the Bureau of Immigration system of the home ministry, which is used at immigration check posts and airports for online validation of ECs granted to ECR category workers. 

Since its launch in 2014, the eMigrate project has helped Indian workers go to ECR countries by bringing the emigration process online and making it transparent. It has also brought foreign employers, registered recruiting agents and insurance companies issuing Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojna (PBBY) on a common platform to facilitate seamless, safe and legal migration.

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