Govt To Waive Visa Fee For First 5 Lakh Tourists Visiting India: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Monday said once international travel resumes, the first 5 lakh tourists who come to India will not have to pay visa fees.

“Once international travel resumes, first 5 lakh tourists who come to India will not have to pay visa fees. Scheme applicable till March 31, 2022, or will be closed after distribution of first 5 lakh visas. One tourist can avail benefit only once,” Sitharaman said while addressing a press conference along with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur.

The Finance Minister also announced a Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for the COVID-affected sectors along with other economic relief measures.

“We are announcing about 8 economic relief measures, of which four are absolutely new & one is specific to health infrastructure. For Covid-affected areas, Rs 1.1 lakh crores credit guarantee scheme and Rs 50,000 crores for health sector,” Sitharaman said.

Main points from the presser: 

1. To revive tourism, the new loan guarantee scheme will support 10,700 regional level tourist guides and Travel & Tourism stakeholders (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and the State governments: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

2. Under Credit Guarantee Scheme, which is a new scheme, 25 lakh people to be benefitted. Loan to be given to the smallest borrowers by Microfinance Institutions. A maximum Rs 1.25 lakhs amount to be lent. Focus is on new lending & not on repayment of old loans: Finance Minister

3. Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana has now extended from June 30, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Over 21.4 lakh people of nearly 80,000 establishments have already benefited from the scheme: Finance Minister

4. Rs. 23,220 crores for public health, special focus on child & pediatric care. It will also include HR augmentation to rope in medical students, nurses; strengthening medical infrastructure. The said amount to be spent in this financial year itself: MoS Finance Anurag Thakur

5. Farmers to get additional protein-based fertilizer subsidy of nearly Rs 15,000 crores: MoS Finance Anurag Thakur

6. Additional Rs 1.5 lakh cr for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.

7.  New scheme to give up to Rs 1.25 lakh loan to 25 lakh small borrowers at lower interest rates.

8. Additional Rs 14,775 crore fertiliser subsidy to be provided over and above Rs 85,413 crore budgeted: FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

9. Free foodgrain to poor till Nov 2021 to take total cost of Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana to Rs 2.27 lakh cr: FM

10. Rs 23,220 crore to be provided for paediatric care/paediatric beds at hospitals.

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