Immigration Bill 2021:
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) invited public inputs to the Immigration Bill 2021. The Bill presents a long overdue opportunity to reform the recruitment process for nationals seeking employment abroad.
Key Features of the Bill:
- The Bill intends to replace the Emigration Act of 1983.
- The Bill envisages comprehensive emigration management, institutes regulatory mechanisms governing overseas employment of Indian nationals and establishes a framework for protection and promotion of welfare of emigrants.
The bill proposes a three-tier institutional framework:
- It launches a new emigration policy division in (MEA) which will be referred to as the Central Emigration Management Authority.
- It proposes a Bureau of Emigration Policy and Planning, and a Bureau of Emigration Administration shall handle day-to-day operational matters and oversee the welfare of emigrants.
- It proposes nodal agencies under a Chief Emigration Officer to ensure the welfare and protection of the emigrants.
- It permits government authorities to punish workers by cancelling or suspending their passports and imposing fines up to Rs 50,000 for violating any of the Bill’s provisions.
- When enforced, it can be used as a tool to crackdown on workers who migrate through unregistered brokers or via irregular arrangements such as on tourist visas.
- The proposed legislation will also maintain registration of human resources agencies, validity and renewal and cancellation of a certificate.
- Besides, authorities will be empowered to have certain powers of the civil court.