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Kuwait announces amnesty scheme, Indian mission ready

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Indian embassy in Kuwait is making elaborate arrangements to deal with the large number of visitors who are coming to avail of an amnesty scheme announced by the Kuwait government.

In a statement here Thursday, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed said that an Amnesty Centre has been set up in the embassy premises to render consular services to Indian nationals from May 1 to June 30, the period for which the scheme will run.

The new scheme allows persons who do not hold valid visas or residencies to regularize their stay in Kuwait after payment of fines.

It also allows those who do not hold valid visas or residences to leave Kuwait without paying any fine. Such persons will have the option to return to Kuwait subsequently on a proper visa.

According to Ahamed, over 2,200 people visited the Indian embassy in the first two days of the scheme alone and a total of 716 applications for emergency certificates have been received from those desirous of leaving Kuwait. These certificates are being processed and delivered within 48 hours.

India's national carriers, Air India and Indian, have also proposed to open counters in the Amnesty Centre to provide passage to various destinations in India, the minister said.

There are around 500,000 expatriate Indians in Kuwait, many of them working as contract labourers.   

--Indo-Asian News Service

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