Amid apprehensions of a clampdown on H-1B visa by the US, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh today said his ministry is making all efforts in safeguarding the interests of Indian citizens. “The External Affairs Ministry is active in this direction (US President Donald Trump’s plan on H-1B visa) and we are making all efforts to safeguard the interests of Indian citizens,” Singh told mediapersons after inaugurating a Passport Sewa Laghu Kendra (PSLK) here. The centre, inaugurated by Singh, along with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, would cater to the needs of people in 15 districts of Indore region. On Pakistan putting Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed on house arrest, the Union Minister said, “India’s intentions and policies are clear and we don’t need to talk more on this issue. The results of our policies will be visible soon.” Commenting on Pakistan’s absence from the South Asian Speakers’ Summit held at Indore on February 18 and 19, Singh said it did not make any difference.
While addressing the inauguration function, Singh announced that passport services would be started in post offices of four cities of Madhya Pradesh including, Vidisha, Satna, Jabalpur and Gwalior.
Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency is represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
He also asked Chouhan to discuss with the state Post Master General about the possibility of opening passport centres in the post offices other districts of Madhya Pradesh.
“The government has evolved an online transparent arrangement for issuing passport. We want to decentralise this service to make it available at nearest point of the applicants,” Singh said.
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Chouhan, during his address, said that the first passport service centre in Madhya Pradesh had been opened in 1978 in Bhopal when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the External Affairs Minister and now the second centre has come up when Sushma Swaraj was the Foreign Minister.
During her address, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urged the Union Minister that international flights should be started from Indore’s Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport.
She said that air cargo facilities should also be launched here to facilitate the export from western Madhya Pradesh.
During this function, the Chief Minister also handed over the keys of a house to Usha Nagar, the wife of Jogeshwar Nagar, who attained martyrdom during an encounter with the militants in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015.