February 2017 \ News \ PARLIAMENT WATCH
Panel Raps Delay In Emigration Act

A parliamentary panel has pulled up the government for delaying a new emigration policy that would keep with the changing times,

By Anjali Ojha

“The Committee was disheartened to note that the Draft Emigration Bill stated to replace the Emigration Act, 1983, had been put in abeyance since 2011 and the ministry had once again failed to adhere to the deadline for introducing the bill during the monsoon session of Parliament last year,” the panel said in its 11th report that was tabled in May 2016.

The External Affairs Ministry in its reply said it is “conscious of the need to modernise the legislative framework prescribed by the Emigration Act, 1983, and the Emigration Rules that governs emigration of Indians for overseas employment”. It also stated that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, which was merged with the Ministry of External Affairs in January 2016, had also held consultations over the draft Emigration Management Bill, but it was felt that wider consultations were needed.

The government also pointed out the measures like e-migrate platform, 24X7 Helpline “MADAD” for online lodging and redressal of grievances of the emigrants, mandatory Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana, and the Indian Community Welfare Fund in Missions and Posts abroad as some measures. The panel, however, rapped the government over the delay and said the ministry has “broadly reproduced the same reply as it had furnished in the previous year”. The Parliamentary Committee said it is not convinced with the ministry’s arguments of the other measures taken. “The Committee would reiterate that a new framework for emigration is needed and in the absence of a firm legal backing, these administrative measures are likely to prove insufficient,” the report said.

Tags: Mr. VK Singh