By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 3: In a bid to attract more foreign tourists to Northeast, the Central government has relaxed entry permission norms for visitors from abroad.
“In order to increase inflow of foreign tourists to Northeast, out of six mega-tourist circuits in the country, one has been formed comprising of destitions in Assam and Aruchal Pradesh,” Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said here today.
“And to facilitate arrival of foreign tourists in greater numbers to the region, the Central government has relaxed entry restrictions to NE states,” he said.
He said the provision for special permission for foreign tourists to enter galand and Manipur has been done away with, while the state government has been authorized to grant the permit in case of Aruchal Pradesh.
At the tiol level, Rijiju said provision for e-visa will be extended to cover 150 countries by this year-end.
“India was ranked 65th in the world in terms of foreign tourist arrival earlier.
But in one year, we have been able to jump 10 places and are ranked 55th now,” he said.
The Union MoS also mentioned about measures being pursued by the government to bring the NE region closer to rest of India.
“To popularize NE culture, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs will be organizing NE festivals in major cities,” Rijiju said.
The CBSE has been asked to incorporate chapters on NE history and geography, while the UGC has also been instructed to include subjects on the region, he added.
Similarly, special police cells and dedicated helplines have also been opened for NE people living in bigger cities to assist them in times of any problem, including issues relating to racial discrimition.
“Besides, in Delhi, we have already formed a panel of advocates which will give free legal aid to people from Northeast. Similar panels will be formed in other metros and cities where there is a good chunk of NE people,” he said.
The minister also informed that a NE centre will be constructed in New Delhi soon.