More workers from UP, Bihar emigrated on ECR passports

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) More blue collar workers travelled on Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar under the government’s eMigrate system than any other state in the country last year, a senior official said on Thursday.

While Uttar Pradesh accounted for 30 per cent of such workers to emigrate to the 18 ECR countries in 2016, Bihar accounted for 15 per cent, Protector General of Emigrants (PGE) M.C. Luther told the media here while giving an update of the eMigrate system.

Tamil Nadu and Kerala, traditionally seen as the main source states of such workers, accounted for 7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively last year.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are the preferred destinations of these workers, according to Luther.

Asked what was the reason for the numbers going up in the northern states while going down in the southern states, Luther said that one of the major reasons was job availability in the state concerned.

“Nobody wants to travel abroad if he has got a job next door,” he said.

“Number two, it is also related to drought… We have tracked the top 10 labour-sending districts and what is the pattern.”

According to the PGE, the pattern coincides with drought.

“Because with drought, there is no job in agriculture or industry, so they leave for a place to earn their livelihood to support their families. So, it is co-related,” he said.

As of December 2016, around 1.5 million emigration clearances have been granted under the eMigrate system.

The eMigrate system was rolled out by the government in May 2014 to regulate emigration for overseas employment.

Among other features, it allows tracking of emigrants country-wise and reach out to them when in need, preventing the activities of illegal recruiting agents, rescue or repatriate emigrants in distress, registration of stakeholders (employer, recruiting agent and employee) and swift and online grievances redressal system.

According to Luther, 89,930 employers from the 18 ECR countries are registered with the government.