The fourth phase of the Vande Bharat Mission, which seeks to bring home stranded Indian citizens from across the world, will begin from July 3, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday.
"Phase four of Vande Bharat Mission has been firmed up with effect from July 3. Phase four will particularly focus on countries where we still have a large number of Indians who have registered to return," he said at the weekly media briefing.
He also stated that approximately 1.50 lakh Indians have been brought home with over 700 flights being operated so far.
"The remaining 175 flights under Phase 3 of Vande Bharat are expected to reach in the coming days. These Vande Bharat mission flights have been instrumental in addressing the immediate requirement of stranded Indians. We are committed to repatriating the Indians particularly in the GCC countries - Malaysia, Singapore among other places," he added.
The spokesperson also said that chartered flight operations, which commenced on May 26, have steadily increased over the past weeks. The government has also facilitated the return of seafarers and crews of shipping companies stranded in various places.
"Till date, 1,30,061 persons have returned on these flights. Demand for these flights remains very high, especially in the Gulf region. Therefore, we are moving to further streamline the process," he said.