New Delhi, Feb 28: India will provide visa on arrival (VoA) to people from 150 countries, a sharp rise from the 43 countries now, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced Saturday.
"Last year VoA was issued to 43 countries. As tourism in the country has increased, I propose to increase the countries covered under this to 150," Jaitley said while presenting the union budget in parliament.
Presenting the national budget for the next fiscal earlier today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the state of the country's economy was better placed today with its credibility re-established by a series of measures taken by his government.
"I am presenting the union budget in an economic environment which is far more positive than in the recent past. While major economies of the world face difficulties, India is poised for higher growth trajectory," Jaitley said as he started his budget speech in the Lok Sabha.
"The real GDP growth is estimated at 7.5 percent for this fiscal, making India the fastest-growing large economy of the world," said Jaitley, watched keenly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seated next to him.
"We inherited a sentiment of doom and gloom and have come a long way by proper actions," said the finance minister, adding: "Our objective is to improve quality of life and to pass benefits to common man."
He also said a double-digit growth was now feasible. "Our objective is to conquer inflation. It will be only 5 percent by end of year."
The finance minister said his government did not intend to do away with subsidies but target them better to achieve the goals. He also said some Rs.8.5 lakh crore will be provided to farmers in the form of credit, along with an allocation of Rs.5,300 crore for irrigation.
(With agency inputs)