Govt proposes to amend Immigration Act

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New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) The government proposes to amend the Immigration Act to check the activities of illegal recruitment agencies for the Gulf and proposes to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Bahrain and Oman to protect the interests of Indian nationals living in those countries.

Minister for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) affairs Vyalar Ravi told Rajya Sabha during Question Hour today that already MOUs had been signed with UAE and Kuwait while Qatar had agreed to enter into similar pact with India. The matter had been taken up with Saudi Arabia also.

''The government has already signed MOUs with UAE and Kuwait. It has also signed an agreement with Qatar and negotiations have been completed with Bahrain and Oman...With Saudi Arabia, we are taking interest and doing it,'' he added.

Referring to recent incidents of protests by Indian nationals working in some Gulf countries and their subsequent arrests and deportation by their governments, the Minister said that in one country, 109 people had been detained of which 90 were Indian nationals who were deported.

In another country, 500 workers of different nationalities, including Indians, were detained and all deported.

The government had taken up the matter with the Gulf countries to protect their interests, the Minister added.

To a question on the activities of illegal recruitment agencies which dupe poor people in villages in the name of sending them abroad, Mr Ravi said many such incidents had come to the notice of the government during the past three years. However, action against such agenciess came under the purview of state governments.

The Centre had taken up the matter with state governments and action was being taken.

To prevent such incidents, ''the government proposes to amend the Immigration Act which will then go to the Cabinet,'' he added.


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