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.