Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 05:36 AM IST

Govt. plans to further liberalise visa regime: Swaraj

Updated: Oct 23, 2016 18:04 IST

Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Oct. 23 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said the government is planning to further liberalise the visa regime for tourism, business as well as other areas shortly.

"We plan to further liberalise our visa regime for tourism, business as well as other areas shortly. Visa was one of the areas of concern for foreigners and Indians living abroad. With the launch of the e- visa scheme, tourist arrivals in India have steadily increased. The 25 million strong Indian diaspora, comprising NRIs and PIOs are a significant force for promoting India's interests abroad," Swaraj said at the valedictory session of the Global Investors Meet here.

She stated that the government has unveiled initiatives for roping them in India's mission of transforming the country.

"The government has already taken steps to address these concerns. The OCI and PIO cards have been merged and a system has been put in place for welfare and protection of Indian immigrant workers," she added.

Lauding the land of "unparalleled beauty" Madhya Pradesh for the flagship investment promotion event Global Investors' Summit, Swaraj said the initiatives taken by Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government have resulted in the state recording a stellar average growth of 9.5 percent in the last three years.

"Madhya Pradesh is the heart of India. The Global Investors' Summit has been a flagship investment promotion event of the government of Madhya Pradesh since 2007. We have been witnessed through how GIS has grown every year and has now become a leading platform for exchange of views, strategizing and implementing business decisions," Swaraj said.

She said from a primarily domestic event, the Global Investors' Summit has acquired international character.

"From a few hundred participants, it has grown to thousands. In other words, the GIS has become the most dependable GPS for decision-makers, global business leaders, economists and academics to identify the next wave of business opportunities," she added.

Swaraj asserted that Madhya Pradesh has for several centuries been witness to the grandeur and splendor for which India is globally renowned.

"Madhya Pradesh is a land of unparalleled beauty. The state is home not only to the pristine rivers of Narmada, Mahanadi and Son which drench the Vindhyas and Satpura and also 25 wildlife centuries, ten natural parks, six project tiger reserves and three UNESCO world heritage sites. Madhya Pradesh is also a perfect amalgamation of the ancient and the modern," she added.

Swaraj also said that several people-centric initiatives have been initiated under Chouhan's dynamic leadership.

"These initiatives have resulted in the state recording a stellar average growth of 9.5 percent in the last three years. With an urban population of 28 percent, Madhya Pradesh has the seventh largest urban population in India. With an extensive road network, five commercial airports, 18.9 gigawatts of installed power capacity, surplus water and industrial land bank the state has become one of the most preferred destinations for both domestic and foreign direct investment," she added.

The External Affairs Minister said the new industrial promotion policy brought out by the state has helped create an empowered and effective single window system for time bound clearance of approvals.

"I am sure that with this forward looking approach and conducive business climate, the state will continue to grow at a fast pace in the years to come," she said. (ANI)