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Cabinet defers decision on easing visa norms for Chinese

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Cabinet defers decision on easing visa norms for Chinese
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New Delhi: The government Thursday deferred a decision on liberalisation of visa norms for Chinese nationals, which was expected to be on the agenda of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Beijing next week.

Sources said the Cabinet deferred a decision on easing visa norms for Chinese nationals, especially those travelling for business purposes.

The Cabinet proposal sought to liberalise the policy due to expansion in trade between the two countries and subsequent increase in visits by Chinese businessmen. These visitors belong mainly to the Information Technology (IT) and infrastructure sectors.

The Government intends to revisit the 2003 protocol in the wake of a substantial increase in visits by Chinese nationals, which has led to jump in FDI inflows and involvement of that country in infrastructure projects here.

Singh will reach Beijing on October 22 and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China on this issue was supposed to be on his agenda.

The Cabinet was expected to consider this proposal in the meeting today.

The present policy requires a mandatory two-month gap between exit and re-entry for tourist visas. Government had plans to change this rule as well.

However, the long term business visa will be available to regular visitors for only a three month stay in the first instance.

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