India protests UK cap on immigration

The issue figured prominently during talks Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi held here with visiting British Immigration Minister Damian Green.Ravi told Green about the "historical ties" between the two countries and requested him to ensure that Indian students and professionals do not suffer because of the changes in the immigration norms.
"Our views have been expressed to Green...I requested him not to equate India with any other country. We have a historical relationship and I told him about our concerns on the issue," Ravi told reporters.

Justifying the new norms, Green, however, said British Government will ensure that the new norms do not affect the Indian business in the UK as well as the overall trade ties between the two countries.

He said said the immigration into Britain has been "too high in the last 10 years" and that it has put "pressures" on the country's public services."Immigration level has been too high over the last 10 years that has put pressures on our public services and some areas of our society...One of the things I am extremely keen is to cut down anything that gives rise to political extremism, anything that gives rise to any kind of racism," he said.

Green, who is currently on a three-day visit to India, said a "properly controlled immigration system" will benefit all sections including the Indian-origin community. "Our overall approach is very clear. Britain benefits from the immigration... But we will be able to attain full benefit if it is properly controlled."

Both the sides also discussed ways to control illegal migration and decided to continue the dialogue in future also to address issues related to migration.The coalition government in UK had promised a cap on immigration from non-EU nations which will be coming into force from April 2011.

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