No orange colour passport for people with ECR status

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The government has reversed its decision on the issuance of an orange-coloured passport for people having ECR status. As usual, personal details will be printed on its last page.
The decision was taken at a meeting, chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by one of her two deputies VK Singh among others.
Based on the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of MEA and the women and child development ministry, it was decided not to print the last page of the passport booklet, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
“After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the MEA (ministry of external affairs) has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR (emigration check required) passport holders,” the ministry said.
Earlier, the ministry had decided to issue a passport with orange colour jacket to passport holders with ECR status, with a view to help and assist them on priority basis, it added.
However, “the MEA has received several individual and collective representations requesting to reconsider these two decisions… the decision of the MEA on both these issues was reviewed in the light of these representations,” it said.
After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, “the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders”, the release said.
The MEA decision was criticised by political parties, including the Congress which said the separate orange colour passports to ECR category shows the BJP’s “discriminatory mindset”.
On Monday, the Kerala high court had separately issued a notice to the centre following a public interest litigation challenging the move, according to PTI.
With “several individual and collective representations requesting to reconsider” the decisions, “the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders,” the foreign ministry said.