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'Australia's new migration rules shouldn't have retrospective effect'


New Delhi, June 16, 2010

India Wednesday asked Australia that the proposed changes in their migration rules should not be retrospective in effect.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, who is currently on a five-day tour to Australia, made this demand during meetings with Australian leaders.

"Since there is a large number of affected Indian population, especially the students who had come under the previous immigration rules in Australia, the Indian government will be trying to seek appropriate transitional arrangements as part of this new policy," the overseas Indian affairs ministry said in a statement here Wednesday.

Ravi held high level meetings on various issues and interests concerning the Indian diaspora with Australian leaders like Simon Crean, minister for trade, Senator Chris Evans, minister for immigration and citizenship, Stephen Smith, foreign minister and Martin Ferguson, minister for resources and energy and tourism.

The meetings hold significance in view of the recent proposed changes in Australia’s migration rules.

"During his meetings, Ravi has impressed upon the Australian side that these proposed changes should be effected prospectively and not have retrospective effect," the statement said.

The minister also held meetings with the leaders of the Indian community, various associations and Indian diaspora.

"His visit to Australia is aimed at building confidence of the Indian community and as a follow up of the assurances of the Australian government," the statement said.

Ravi will also be visiting New Zealand for two days to have interactions with the Indian community there.