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LONDON, November 3, 2013 (AFP) – Britain is scrapping a plan to force visitors from six “high-risk” countries to pay a cash bond of £3,000 (US $4,800, 3,500 euros), the interior ministry said on Sunday. Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, told BBC television in September that he was “absolutely not interested in a bond which becomes an indiscriminate way of clobbering people who want to come to this country”. The government had been preparing to pilot a scheme requiring visitors from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ghana and Nigeria to pay the deposit for a six-month visa.

They would have forfeited the money if they overstayed.

“The government has been considering whether we pilot a bond scheme that would deter people from overstaying the visa. We have decided not to proceed,” a Home Office spokeswoman said.

Reports in June said the scheme would initially target hundreds of visitors before being extended to affect several thousand.

The plan had prompted an outcry from government and business leaders in India, with which Britain has been trying to foster a closer trade relationship.

The Nigerian foreign minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, also said in June that