India on Tuesday rescinded its decision to issue passports with orange-coloured jackets to those with ECR status, such as unskilled workers seeking employment abroad.
"A decision was taken by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, to print the last page of passport booklet," the External Affairs ministry said in a statement.
Noting it received several individual and collective representations requesting to reconsider this decision as well as orange-coloured passport, it said at a meeting chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday in the presence of Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, the decision of the ministry on both these issues was reviewed in the light of these representations.
"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 orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders," it stated.
On January 12, the External Affairs Ministry said that India has decided to do away with the last page of the passport that contains the names of the spouse, parents and address of the passport-holder while changing the colour of ECR passports for unskilled workers.
The last page also contains information such as Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number with date and place of issue of that passport.
With the last page of the passport not to be printed, passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport, the ministry had said.
ECR passport holders require clearance from the Protector General of Emigrants to go abroad in order to prevent exploitation.