New Delhi: The external affairs ministry tonight announced that it has reversed its decision on the issuance of an orange colour passport to those who have ECR status as also on the printing of the last page with personal details.
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, yesterday, the ministry said.
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 MEA said in a release.
The ministry had earlier decided to issue a passport with an orange colour jacket to passport holders with ECR status, with a view to help and assist them on a priority basis, it said.
However, “the MEA has received several individuals 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 an 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”.