Abu Dhabi: The Indian Embassy in the UAE will bear the cost of typing and related services for an emergency certificate (outpass) up to an amount of Dh40 for Indian amnesty seekers as per a Government of India decision.

However, the Government of India has not made any decision on waiving the outpass fee [Dh60] as recommended by the Indian Embassy in the UAE, M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News on Monday.

A press release issued by the embassy on Monday said that as per the decision of the Government of India, the embassy will be reimbursing BLS International, the outsourced agency handling applications for outpasses, Dh40 per applicant applying for emergency certificates under the amnesty scheme towards photo, form filling, service fee, etc, which the applicant has to pay. The ambassador said the money will be paid from the Indian Community Welfare Fund.

He had said the embassy had exempted payment of Dh10 per applicant [amnesty seekers] payable towards to the Indian Community Welfare Fund.

As Gulf News reported earlier the amnesty seekers and community organisations had protested against the exorbitant fee for emergency certificates and service charges imposed on amnesty seekers.

India recently increased the fee for outpass from Dh20 to Dh60 and it was not waived even after the UAE Government declared an amnesty.

The UAE Government waived all fines for residency law violators and exit permits are issued free of cost.

Other Asian embassies such as Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka do not charge a fee for outpasses and Bangladesh charges just Dh20. The Pakistan Embassy is providing typing, photographs and related services free of cost.

An Indian amnesty seeker has to spend Dh69, which includes the Dh9 service fee charged by BLS International. If the amnesty seeker uses the services of form filling, photo, courier service and SMS alert service he has to pay about Dh60 extra of which Dh40 will be borne by the embassy.

Those amnesty seekers who do not have passports have to get an outpass from their embassies to leave the country. People who have their passports can approach the immigration department directly.