India Defers Compulsory ECNR Registration After Backlash
Last week the external affairs ministry had made it mandatory for 11 million NRI living in 18 West Asian and Gulf countries to register on the e-migrate portal and sign in online.
Less than two days after making it compulsory for all Indians living in 18 West Asian and Gulf countries to register on the e-migrate web portal, the government has deferred the rule for the time being.
According to a report in online newspaper FirstPost, last week the external affairs ministry had made it mandatory for 11 million NRI living in 18 West Asian and Gulf countries to register on the e-migrate portal and sign in online.
“As Indian embassies and consulates across the region were inundated with queries, doubts, and fears that the ridiculous one month registration period was nowhere near enough, it was announced that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would meet select NRIs over lunch on Dec. 5 in Dubai, the newspaper wrote.
The reason the ministry had to withdraw the order was that several hundred Indian associations launched their protests over the imposition and less than 24 hours later Swaraj’s visit was canceled. The Indian missions, already dealing with the last gasps of the amnesty declared in the UAE, saw themselves swamped by this utterly pointless diktat, the newspaper wrote.
The order also came with a rider that if Indians did not register by this date, then they would be offloaded from any India-bound flight.
As soon as the order was issued, pressure from Indians settled in these countries mounted and the ministry suspended, the order within 36 hours, to be precise, although temporarily. This is because over 85 percent of these 11 million NRIs — where emigration clearance is required — are blue-collar workers with little or no access to computers or the wherewithal to use them to register online. The website www.emigrate.gov is lumbering, clumsy and complex, the online newspaper wrote.