Guwahati, Saturday, September 8, 2012
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Bhutan expels illegal Indian immigrants
Kalyan Barooah
 NEW DELHI, Sept 7 The Centre may be dithering over expelling illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, but neighbouring Bhutan issued expulsion orders to 31 illegal Indian immigrants last year, despite pressures from New Delhi.

 India could draw lessons from the neighbouring Himalayan country when it comes to acting tough on immigrants working illegally in the country. Notwithstanding pressures from India to go easy on the illegal Indian immigrants, they were issued with repatriation orders.

The Royal Government of Bhutan has informed India that during a routine inspection by the immigration officials in September, last year, in Gelephu, 31 illegal Indian immigrants were detected. These illegal immigrants were issued with repatriation orders, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi said in a Lok Sabha reply.

The Indian Mission has strongly intervened with the Royal Government through several notes verbale, aides-memoire and personal interactions with senior functionaries. The Royal Government has informed that it has no intention to cause inconvenience to Indian nationals working with proper permits and operating their own business with valid trade licence, Ravi said.

The only concern is with those expatriates working without valid work permits and operating illegally, the Minister added.

There are no inputs though to suggest that Indians are being displaced in Bhutan, Ravi added.

However, instances have come to notice where foreigners have been asked to leave the country, if their stay is not in accordance with the Labour and Employment Act 2007 of the Royal Government of Bhutan, Ravi pointed out.

The law does not allow illegal immigrants to work or reside in the country. According to law, if an employer employs a worker illegally, a monetary penalty of Nu. 10,000 per day is imposed on him, the Minister said.

As reported by this newspaper, Assam Government during the last two years managed to deport only 134 illegal migrants.

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