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Dr. Mahesh Sharma discusses TVOA scheme with Rajnath Singh

The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Civil Aviation and Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma met the Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh here today to discuss mainly the issues related to Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme.

Shri Rajnath Singh also approved a Committee under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Foreigners) with three Joint Secretaries from MHA, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Civil Aviation as members. This Committee will meet periodically and resolve issues concerning Visa facilitation and Tourism promotion.

On the issue of distribution of Welcome Cards printed by Ministry of Tourism at Indian Airports to tourists arriving in India, Shri Rajnath Singh assured that instructions will be sent to Bureau of Immigration for taking urgent necessary action in this regard.

Regarding issue of biometric collection at airports, it was suggested that during the next one year 150 countries will be covered under TVOA scheme, which includes biometric collection on arrival. The issue raised by Ministry of Tourism will be resolved as far as foreign tourists are concerned.

As far as increase in number of countries and number of airports are concerned, the Home Minister assured the Minister for Tourism that these suggestions will definitely be considered in taking the decision very shortly. Shri Rajnath Singh also promised that suggestion regarding double entry for TVOA applicants and increasing the period from one month to two months will also be examined keeping in view the security considerations.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma suggested that Bureau of Immigration officials should be given training as they are the first point of contacts with the tourists. Shri Rajnath Singh asked the Minister for Tourism to submit a proposal to MHA in this regard so that the same can be considered expeditiously.


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