A committee of Parliamentarians today met migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh staying in Gujarat and listened to their problems in getting long-term visas and other grievances. The panel, which has members from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, is headed by BJP MP Satyapal Singh. The 10- member committee met the migrants as part of its consultation exercise for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. "The committee met migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to address their problems," a release issued by the state information department said. "A large number of migrants from these countries met the committee and shared their problems in getting long-term visas and also raised other issues," it said. Singh assured them of all possible support in solving their problems, the release said. The panel informed the migrants that if they have long -term visa, they can buy properties, take bank loan and also do business or job in India, it said. The Parliamentary body is hearing representations made by migrants from Sindhi, Bengali and Gujarati communities on how to go about the proposed amendments in the legislation. The original Citizenship Act, passed in 1955, defines the concept of Indian citizenship and lists out ways to acquire the same, explicitly denying citizenship to all undocumented migrants. A key amendment in the new bill, however, seeks to grant citizenship to people without valid documents from minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India.
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