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Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, 10 : 30 AM [IST]

Government planning to further relax the visa regime: Sushma Swaraj

According to a PTI report, Government is planning to further relax the visa regime ‘shortly’ to attract more tourists and businesses to the country. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs, Government of India at the valedictory session of the Global Investors Meet said, "We plan to further liberalise our visa regime for tourism, business as well as other areas shortly."

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.
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