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Govt giving final shape to dual citizenship proposal
January 03, 2003 13:40 IST
The government is giving final shape to a proposal to accord dual citizenship to persons of Indian origin (PIO) abroad by bringing amendments to the Citizenship Act.
In all likelihood, an announcement in this regard is expected to be made by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 9,when he will inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
"This matter is in a very advance stage," J C Sharma, secretary in the external affairs ministry, told reporters when asked about it.
"Discussions are at the highest level in the government," he said.
Pressed further, he said the issue is at the 'final decision-making stage' and that "various inputs are being harmonised. At this stage, that is the maximum I can say."
He said in-principle there was acceptance of this move. Indians settled abroad have been pushing this demand for a long time.
The Indian diaspora is 20 million strong and spread over 110 countries and in all the five continents.
In December, 2001, a high level committee headed by noted jurist and former Ambassador to Britain, L M Singhvi submitted its report to the prime minister in which a strong case was made out for conferring dual citizenship on the diaspora.
Vajpayee is expected to convene a high-level meeting to give finishing touches to the proposal.