The Indian union government is mulling over a proposal to ease the visa norms of the country in order to give a fillip to trade-in services, said Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister, on 8 August. Responding to a question in the Parliament, she said that a visa regime which is liberalised would aid in boosting trade-in services in various methods of supply, especially Mode 2, included in which are medical travel, tourism and education services. Sitharaman was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that a proposal to liberalise the visa policy even more is being considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with all relevant parties.
She stated that her ministry was pitching for a liberal regime and adequate precautions with the Home Ministry as the subject falls under the latter’s ambit. Service sector’s importance has risen tremendously because of its contribution to the income at the national and state levels, trade flows and foreign direct investment. This sector alone is said to be contributing about sixty percent to India’s GDP. It also accounts for 28 percent of job creation in India, while for total trade it is 25 percent. Its contribution to the country’s imports and exports is 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
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