India plans moves to make citizenship for Pakistani-Hindus easier

Vulnerable minorities may also be allowed to buy property, open bank accounts

News Desk April 18, 2016

The Indian government on Sunday announced it intends to simplify procedures for granting citizenship to minority Hindus from Pakistan, a report appearing The Times of India said.

The proposal also envisaged allowing “minority communities of Pakistan staying in India on a Long Term Visa” to buy property, open bank accounts and obtain a permanent account number and Aadhaar number, the newspaper cited an unnamed home ministry official as saying.

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According to the proposal, the collectors or district magistrates of 18 districts will be empowered for a two-year period to grant citizenship to such people for an appreciably lower fee.

The districts are Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Kutch and Patan (Gujarat), Bhopal and Indore (Madhya-Pradesh), Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune and Thane (Maharashtra), West Delhi and South Delhi (National Capital Territory), Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Lucknow (Uttar-Pradesh).

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“These are only at a proposal stage,” the official told IANS news agency. Also proposed is a drastic cut in naturalisation certificate registration fee.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th,  2016.

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