The Union government, in a bid to lessen burden on Assam and other north-eastern states, is considering giving incentives to religious migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they settle in states other than Assam on account of being accepted as Indian citizens, Times of India has reported.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while speaking on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha, had conceded Assam being disproportionately burdened due to influx of religiously persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries. He had made it clear that Assam, therefore, “should not bear this burden alone.”
“It is the responsibility of the entire country and the burden should be shared by the entire country,” Home Minister had said.
Singh, over the weekend, met with the chief ministers of Assam and Manipur to discuss their concerns over safeguarding interests of indigenous people in wake of the centre’s push for the citizenship amendment bill.
According to the report, a meeting of chief ministers of north-eastern states will soon be called by the union home ministry to discuss protection of these states’ interests, their cultural and linguistic identity.
A way forward could be offering incentives, including financial assistance, to migrants who upon being granted citizenship agree to settle in states other than Assam and the north-east, the report cited sources in the home ministry.
“The proposal of incentivising their stay in the rest of India vis-a-vis Assam is still under discussion,” a home ministry functionary was quoted in the report as saying.
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