Infrastructure & Safety

Govt to further ease visa regime

INDORE: The union government on Sunday said it is planning to further relax the visa regime “shortly” to attract more tourists and businesses to the country.

“We plan to further liberalise our visa regime for tourism, business as well as other areas shortly,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said at the valedictory session of the Global Investors Meet in Indore, reports PTI.

She said visa was one of the areas of concern for foreigners and Indians living abroad.
The minister said the government has already taken steps to address these concerns.
In November 2014, government launched the e-visa scheme for over 100 countries. It was extended to 37 more countries this year, taking the total number to 150.

“With the launch of the e-visa scheme, tourist arrivals in India has steadily increased,” she said, adding the 25 million strong Indian diaspora, comprising NRIs and PIOs, are a significant force for promoting India’s interests abroad.

Realising this, she said the government has unveiled initiatives for roping them in India’s mission of transforming the country.

The minister said that OCI and PIO cards have been merged and a system has been put in place for welfare and protection of Indian immigrant workers.

A portal has been launched to redress their grievances in a time-bound manner .

Talking about investments, she said FDI policy has been made more liberal, making India one of the most open countries in the world.

She informed the investors that the government has passed bankruptcy law and a clear cut roadmap for lowering corporate tax from 30% to 25% over the next four years has been laid down.


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