Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday met the Union Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi where he discussed a number of issues relating to Post Office Passport Seva Kendras, grievance redressal of immigrants from Odisha working abroad and sharing of database on immigrants with the State Government.

In the meeting, Patnaik stressed on the need to improve the outreach of Post Office Passport Seva Kendras in Odisha and urged upon External Affairs Minister to open three more Passport Seva Kendras in the second phase at Balasore, Berhampur in Ganjam and Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district. This, he said, will ensure that people located in far flung areas of different regions get the desired access to passport services in the State.

Patnaik pointed out that a large number of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers from Odisha are employed in different parts of the world, particularly in Middle East and South East Asian countries and many a times immigrants from Odisha face difficult situations including exploitation by employers, economic hardships and accidents, etc.

Chief Minister also urged upon the Union Minister to provide the database of people of Odisha working in different countries so that the Government is better informed to reach out to families of the people in distress abroad and well prepared to take timely action for their rescue and repatriation.

Appreciating the concerns of Odisha, the External Affairs Minister assured and agreed for setting up three more Post Office Passport Seva Kendras in the second phase. She has also agreed to share the database on immigrants from Odisha working abroad who have legally immigrated to different countries through authorised agents approved by Ministry of External Affairs.