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Five NRI offices to be created abroad

India will create five overseas offices to look after the interests of expatriates abroad.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 11:38 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

India will create five overseas offices to look after the interests of expatriates and amend emigration laws to prevent unscrupulous agents cheating people seeking jobs abroad, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said Thursday.

"The ministry will soon set up at least four of the five overseas offices to look into the welfare of non-resident Indians," the minister said in an informal interaction with reporters here.

Ravi, who was appointed to the office last month, said the first overseas offices - which are likely to be called "Pravasi Welfare Offices - would be in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, the US, Europe and Kula Lumpur.

"Labour attaches in the embassies and the high commissions have already been brought under the overseas Indian affairs ministry. The offices will deal with the legal aspects and cultural activities of Indians abroad," he said.

"It (the welfare office) will be a separate entity. While overall control would be by diplomats, administrative control will remain with the ministry," Ravi said.

The minister said the government was considering amending the 1983 Emigration Act to check recruitment fraud.

"The previous government had decided to grant licences to recruitment agencies for 25 years. It's absurd! We are going to amend the law and make it more transparent."

He said a new system to book fake recruitment agents would be introduced with the support of state governments and local bodies.

Welcoming the government's assurance that it would bring legislation to grant voting rights to non-resident Indians, the veteran Congress leader gave full credit for the landmark bill to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

He said the bill was expected to be passed in the current budget session.

India has 25 million people living abroad.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 11:38 IST