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Long-term, on-arrival visa to be discussed after Indian polls

May 15, 2024 00:00:00

Measures to introduce or facilitate two-year or long-term visas to reduce difficulties and pressure for obtaining Indian visas will be taken after the Indian elections, said Minister of Textiles and Jute Jahangir Kabir Nanak.

He said this during a press briefing at the Ministry of Textiles and Jute following a courtesy meeting with Indian High Commissioner Pranay Verma on Tuesday afternoon, reports UNB.

Nanak said, "Today, we discussed many issues with the Indian High Commissioner. Among them, we requested to simplify the visa process to alleviate the difficulties people face in obtaining Indian visas, enabling quicker visa issuance."

When asked about India's response to simplifying the visa process, he replied, "They agreed with the issues we raised. They acknowledged the existing problems and are trying to address them. However, they also face an overwhelming load at times, which needs to be managed appropriately."

The Minister added, "Last year, during my visit to India last year, I discussed this issue with senior Indian officials."

When asked if any initiatives would be taken to introduce on-arrival visas in India to ease the pressure, Nanak said, "This was discussed with them. I cited Saudi Arabia as an example, which has significantly simplified its visa process. You cannot remain stuck in the past. They admitted to being overwhelmed and agreed that introducing two-year visas would help reduce the load. The High Commissioner agreed on the need to extend the visa duration and said that necessary measures would be taken after the elections."

Regarding discussions on anti-dumping duty for jute, the Minister said, "India is currently in the midst of elections. Post-elections, there will be discussions between the two governments, and we are hopeful for a fruitful outcome."

The Minister also mentioned, "Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi share a strong relationship. We have discussed further investment in our jute mills. Three Indian companies have expressed interest in investing in our jute mills, and agreements have been made with some."

He added, "We import 70-75 per cent of our jute seeds from India. We have requested high-quality jute seeds to be delivered on time without any delays. We sought cooperation from their relevant ministry on this matter."

Mentioning India has advanced significantly in silk production, Nanak said Bangladesh requested technical assistance and training for quality silk production.

"We have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the textile sector and have asked for more investment in our medium and small industries. Many of our jute mills are closed, and we aim to revitalize them," he said.

When asked if there are plans to increase jute seed production, Nanak responded, "There is an ongoing project through the Department of Jute to provide financial support to farmers nationwide for jute seed production, which will reduce our reliance on imports."

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