Local Goa News

Friday, May 27, 2016

Central Authority to solve dual citizenship issue, in Goa

Goans who have registered their births in Portugal will not have to suffer; notification to be issued soon

PANJIM: Ensuring that Goans, who have registered their births in Portugal will not be made to suffer, the Union Government on Friday announced to set up a special Central Authority in the State to deal with the long pending issue of dual citizenship. The solution to contentious dual citizenship issue is one of the major promises of the BJP-led government during 2012 polls.
Addressing media persons in Goa, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that central government constituted committee to study and recommend solution to the dual citizenship issue is ready with the report and a notification would be issued soon.
“It is very unfortunate that many people of Goa have been victim of provisions of Law of our country as well as Portugal and are facing problem,” he said.
The minister said that the Central set up committee has finalised its report and are soon going to notify an authority, to be set up in Goa, to deal with the issue in the State itself. “It is a state issue and it needs to solve in the state only. We don’t want people to run around in Delhi,” he said.
Rijiju said that government wants to ensure that due to the difference between the law, people of the country should not suffer. “I will ensure that no genuine Indian is made to suffer due to the dual citizenship issue anymore,” he said.
Government statistics peg around 40,000 Goans as having registered their births in Portugal -- a provision offered by the state's former colonial rulers to those born before Goa's liberation in 1961 and to their children -- but holding neither a Portuguese passport nor a 'bilhete de identidade' (ID card). Thousands of names have already been deleted from the electoral roll, losing voting rights.
Goa has a raging dual citizenship issue, as several of those who have registered their births in Portugal -- and this includes politicians, police personnel, bureaucrats and even the common man -- have also gone to get a Portuguese passport or the ID card, which are seen as tickets to working in Europe.
As an election promise, BJP government had in the past petitioned former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on this issue. Government was of the view that under section 8 of the Indian Citizenship Act, a person is deemed to be Indian citizen provided he does not renounce citizenship and also obtain citizenship of some other nation.
Government was clear that there are cases wherein births (of Goans born before 1961) have been registered in Portugal by a third person or some agent without their knowledge and hence these people need protection.

Herald Goa News

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