Pak, Bangla, Afghanistan minorities set for a better deal


NEW DELHI: In line with its poll promise to provide easier conditions for refugees from the “minority communities” of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the government on Wednesday cleared a package for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the three countries who are staying on a long-term visa (LTV) in India.

In addition, it also reworked the rules to facilitate the grant of citizenship, a move that will require amendments to the law.
The package cleared by the Cabinet included allowing those from the minority communities from the three neighbouring countries, staying on long-term visas, to open bank accounts in the country , purchase property to live as well as for self-employment along with permission to take up self-employment.

They would also be granted permanent account numbers (PAN) as well as Aadhaar numbers to enable them to undertake several transactions.

A key element of the measures announced by the go vernment is enabling free movement not just within the state or Union Territory of their stay but also the transfer of long-term visa papers from one state to another.

Further, the government has agreed to waive the penalty on non-extension of short-term or long-term visa on time. Those from minority communities in the three countries would also be allowed to apply for long-term visas from the current place of residence in case they relocated without permission.

“The move is aimed at easing out the difficulties being faced by them,” the government said in a statement.

Source: The Times Of India