The Narendra Modi government has made a u-turn on its proposal to change the passport colour from blue to orange for people with Emigration Check Required (ECR) status.
After facing criticism, the government on Tuesday decided to rollback the decision to print orange-coloured passports for "emigration check-required” (ECR) passport-holders as well as doing away with the last page of the passport.
The reversal of decision was announced by the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday.
In a statement, the MEA said that after "comprehensive discussions” with the various stakeholders – following several individual and collective representations, 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.
"At a meeting chaired by External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on January 29, 2018, in the presence of General (Retd.) V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, the decision of the MEA 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 mentioned that a decision was taken by the Ministry of External Affairs on the recommendations of a three Member Committee comprising officials of MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, not to print the last page of Passport Booklet. MEA also took the decision to issue a passport with orange colour jacket to passport holders with ECR status, with a view to help and assist them on priority basis.
The MEA had received several individual and collective representations requesting to reconsider these two decisions, according to the statement.
On January 12, the MEA had announced that passports may soon not have the information printed on the last page, including names of father/legal guardian, mother, spouse, and address. However, they will still be available in the government database, and can be read by authorities through the barcode in the passport.