Weekly Current Affairs

Asylum seekers can own property [Social Justice]

  • The Union Cabinet approved proposals for extending several benefits to “persecuted” minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh living in India on long-term visas.
  • They can now take up self-employment, buy property, open bank accounts and get driving licences, PAN card and Aadhaar.
  • Many members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities have come to India fearing persecution in their home countries.
  • The registration fees for citizenship will be reduced to Rs. 100 from Rs. 3,000- 15,000. Soon, the Citizenship Rules, 2009, will be amended to help such persons get citizenship.
  • As approved by the Union Cabinet, the beneficiaries can buy property for self- occupation or use in self-employment. They are allowed free movement within the State of their stay, and can get their long-term visa papers transferred from one State to another.
  • The government has permitted them to apply for long-term visas from the place of their current residence, even if they have moved to the present place without seeking permission.
  • The Collector or District Magistrate would be empowered to authorise an officer not below the rank of Sub-divisional Magistrate for administering the oath of allegiance to the applicant.
  • The Centre has taken several measures in the past two years to alleviate the problems of the persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries who have been living year for long.