`Indo-Pak Home Ministers may meet on visa issue`
Seeking to liberalise the visa regime, the Home Ministers of India and Pakistan are likely to meet next month.
New Delhi: Seeking to liberalise the visa regime, the Home Ministers of India and Pakistan are likely to meet next month to finalise the contours of a new scheme under which businessmen of both countries will be allowed multiple-entry visas.
"We have moved forward in this direction. We have agreed upon it. Both sides have signed it on working level. Next month, Home Ministers of both sides are meeting, there it may be announced," Naeem Anwar, responsible for trade related issues in the Pakistan High Commission said here at a PHDCCI function.
However, Anwar did not disclose the exact date and place of the meeting.
A Joint Working Group was set up by the two countries to revise a bilateral visa agreement in 1974 and both sides have jointly finalised a draft.
Elaborating on the working group`s draft, an official said, India has agreed to allow multiple-entry visas to those Pakistani businessmen whose firms` net profit is above Rs 30 lakh. They will be exempted from police reporting, he added.
These businessmen may be allowed to visit ten Indian cities, he said, adding small businessmen (with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh) may be allowed to visit five Indian cities but only 4 times in a year.
During the recent visit to Islamabad, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim agreed to ease visa regime for businessmen.
Sharma has said that he has discussed the issue of visa liberalisation with Home Minister and the two countries would completely revise the existing bilateral visa agreement that was signed in 1974 to facilitate travel by businessmen from both the countries.