Government's move to issue orange-jacketed passports for migrants irks Rahul Gandhi 

In photo: An Indian passenger holds up her passport. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 14, 2018, 10.15 AM (IST)

The PM Modi government recently announced its plan to introduce a set of changes in passports issues to Indian citizens.

According to the plan, a passport will no longer serve as a valid address proof and its last page will not bear the holder's address. 

In addition to this, the government also announced to issue orange-jacketed passports to those who seek immigration. 

"As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status would be issued a passport with orange passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport," an MEA statement read.

The changes did not go well with Congress President Rahul Gandhi who criticised the move as "discriminatory" and slammed the government for treating India's migrant workers as "second-class citizens".

"Treating India's migrant workers like second-class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset," the Congress president tweeted.

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The government gave a nod to the recommendations suggested by a three-member panel, including officials from the External Affairs Ministry and the Women and Child Development Ministry.

It was decided that the last page of passports and other travel documents issued under the Passports Act, 1967, and Passport Rules, 1980, "would no longer be printed".

The foreign ministry has not decided on the date for issuing the new passports.

All existing passports will be replaced by the new version after they expire. 

(With inputs from PTI)