January 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India
PM: issue of dual citizenship resolved
New Delhi, January 8
“There were problems in resolving the issue. But now, the issue has been resolved and I am hopeful that the Indians settled abroad would find it suitable,” he said after receiving the report of a high-level committee on Indian diaspora headed by noted jurist L.M. Singhvi.
Asserting that “We are in favour of dual citizenship but not dual loyalty”, Mr Vajpayee said the Indians settled abroad should also have loyalty to those countries.
Mr Singhvi said the committee had identified seven countries — the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, a large part of Europe and Singapore — for the implementation of dual citizenship.
He said the committee had recommended dual citizenship within the framework of the Citizenship Act and it did not involve any amendment in the Constitution.
In a bid to accord due recognition to the contributions being made by the people of Indian origin settled abroad, the Prime Minister said the government had decided to celebrate “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas” on January 9 and honour 10 non-resident Indians (NRIs) every year.
Meanwhile, a high-level committee on the Non-Resident Indians has recommended the creation of a welfare fund for the benefit of the repatriated overseas workers and negotiating a “standard labour export agreement” with the host countries.
The committee chaired by eminent jurist L. M. Singhvi submitted its report to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today.
The committee has suggested monitoring and supervision of both employment contracts and the conditions of overseas workers by the Indian missions in various countries.
The committee also suggested the establishment of a special economic zone exclusively for ventures to be set up by the NRIs and people of Indian origin (PIO).
A dedicated single-window set up, which would provide consultancy services for overseas Indian investors and be a liaison point for getting various clearances, was imperative for the success of this measure.
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