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Germany will ease visa restrictions for Indians: Chancellor

Written by: Staff
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Hannover, Apr 24 (UNI) India today extracted an assurance from Chancellor Angela Merkel that she would look into the complaint of Indian businessmen and IT professionals facing hardships in securing German visas, and ensure that the issue was resolved amicably.

Chancellor Merkel, who had yesterday acknowledged that there were complaints of Indians misusing the German visa, officially conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that whatever was necessary to be done for ensuring a relaxed visa regime for Indians, would be done in due course.

According to senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), she told Dr Singh that she was issuing instructions to her officials rightaway to ensure that the visa norms were eased for Indian professionals and businessmen.

The Prime Minister welcomed Dr Merkel's assurance.

Ms Merkel had earlier has expressed reluctance to relax the visa regime for Indian businessmen and professionals, saying there have been complaints of its misuse.

At a press interaction with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last evening after talks between the two leaders, she was asked if Germany could introduce a liberalised visa regime for Indian businessmen and professionals, especially in the IT sector.

Her comments assume significance against the backdrop of the recent controversy involving a senior IFS official, Mr Rakesh Kumar, who has been charged with facilitating the flight of a dance troupe to Germany with fake docments.

Both the Prime Minister and Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal took up the issue of a liberalised visa regime for Indians during the meeting with the German Chancellor.

They were of the view that a rigid visa regime was coming in the way of enhanced trade and economic ties between the two countries as well as in the migration of Indian professionals to Germany.

UNI AT RA HT2058

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