ID-cards for non-Muslim refugees

In a major relief for minority refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the Centre will allow them to open bank accounts, buy property for self-employment and access identity documents like driving licence, PAN and Aadhaar cards.
Facilities such as banking services for refugees residing in India on long-term visas (LTVs) will help them access a range of services till a legislation that offers a path to citizenship by amending the Citizenship Act is passed by Parliament. This reflects the government's pre-poll commitment that non-Muslims who have come to India due to persecution deserve a special dispensation. The bill is before a House panel headed by the BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab, which is expected to submit its report for consideration during the winter session. For now, the government has said minority communities on long-term visas (LTVs)--Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians--will be able to submit affidavits in place of a renunciation certificate.They will be granted LTV for five years instead of two and can avail of facilities like education and employment.
Refugees' children on LTV will also be able to seek admission in schools and colleges under foreigners' quota without any further permission from the state administration. State governments and UT administrations are empowered to grant permission to such people to engage themselves in employment of purely private nature.
Though there is no definitive figure, an estimate suggests that there are over two lakh refugees, mostly Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, living in India. There are some 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kutch, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Delhi and Lucknow. The Modi government has already given LTV to nearly 35,000 refugees.
Senior officials said issuance of driving licence, PAN and Aadhaar cards will give refugees a means to be identified and the right to run businesses and pursue economic activities in India. The government has also allowed free movement within the state or UT they are residing in, transfer of LTV papers from one state to another.

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