Tag Archives: Government of India

Govt introduces e-FRRO portal for foreign nationals visiting India

The Government of India has digitalised the process of FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) registration, visa extension, etc. for foreign nationals visiting India. The government has now introduced an e-FRRO portal with an aim to provide faceless, cashless and paperless service to foreign nationals. There will be no requirement to visit FRRO office. Earlier, foreigners could book appointment and upload documents online but they had to be physically present on the appointed date at the FRRO office for processing of the application. With effect from February 12, 2018, a mandatory visit to the local FRRO office located at Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai has been done away with. Online submission of documents in respect of all visa and immigration related services (such as the Indian FRRO registration, visa extension, change of address/passport, visa conversion, exit permission, etc.) has been enabled. Client will be informed through e-mail/SMS alerts for service granted or rejected. Registration certificate will be sent by post and on the registered email ID. Alternatively, it can be downloaded from the portal.

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MOT streamlines hotel classification guidelines

Ministry of Tourism has streamlined the hotel classification guidelines to make them simple, transparent and time bound. The application for classification and payments of fees have been made through digital platform only, ensuring the eradication of possibility of delay or manipulation caused by human interference. The recent amendments have included a time limit of three months, thus removing any discretion in the matter. This will ensure a time bound compliance and speedy disposal of cases. The amendments have made it clear that liquor shops in the premises of the hotel other than bars will not be considered for classification under star hotels “with alcohol” category, to remove any ambiguity. It has been made mandatory for all the hotels classified under all categories to display their classification status prominently at the reception and on their websites under a separate icon on the opening page, which will display the order of classification issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The amendments have included a detailed timeline within which the classification has to be completed. In every case where the required documents and procedures are fulfilled, the classification will be completed within 90 days.

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Stay up to date with MOT’s digital calendar

KJ Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, launched the Incredible India digital calendar in Delhi and also released the Incredible India wall and desk calendars for the year. Alphons said, “We want to keep up with technology and thought to do something very innovative. The digital calendar will be a very dynamic one where you will get updated pictures everyday. Therefore, for the first time in the wall calendar, we are showing India at night. Each picture of the key tourist site, displayed in the calendar has been taken at night. Unique feature of the calendar is that when you hang it in your room, then the monument or the site glows. You get to get a feel of the monument under moonlight. The timing of the picture has also been given in the calendar. Photographs have been enhanced using radium ink. Also, most of the tourists see these destinations during the day, we wanted to showcase how they look at night.” Elaborating on the key features of the digital calendar, Rashmi Verma (IAS), Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “It is for the first time we have a digital calendar, and it can be downloaded on your Android and Apple mobile phones. It can be used as a planner and everyday, as per the festival and the occasion the picture in the digital calendar will change. Sometimes, for one day you may get more than one picture, in case there are two three festivals in one day. The Incredible India digital calendar application enables users to know about the events and festivals happening in India on the go. The digital calendar can also be used …

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Revamped Incredible India website postponed till end of January 2018

The much awaited all-new Incredible India website, which was set to go live from December 25, 2017, will now be launched in the end of January 2018. This was informed by Rashmi Verma, Secretary-Tourism, Government of India. “We could have launched the website as planned because in terms of technology, the website is ready. However, we are currently sourcing more content and images to make the website a complete solution and thus, by the third week of January, we should be ready to launch it, she said. Verma underscored various initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT). MOT is shortlisting some iconic tourist sites to develop into world-class sites in collaboration with various other ministries like Transport, Environment, Culture and Aviation. Five destinations under the Buddhist circuit are being developed with basic amenities and connectivity in collaboration with Ministry of Transport. She further added that MOT has planned to develop Special Tourism Zone and a proposal has been extended to all the states.

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PATA India Chapter unanimously elects team for 2017-19

Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will lead PATA India Chapter as its Chairperson for the term 2017-19. This was announced during the 47th Annual General Meeting of PATA India Chapter held at The Claridges, New Delhi on December 19. While SanJeet, Director, DDP Publications, was re-elected as the association’s Vice Chairman; J.S. Taneja, MD, Travel Spirit International, will continue to hold the post of Hon. Secretary, and the post of Hon. Treasurer has been re-assigned to Vikram Madhok, MD, Abercrombie & Kent. The association also elected its Executive Committee for the term 2017-19. Under the Active Government Category, Rashmi Verma and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India will hold the post, while Ravneet Kaur, CMD, ITDC and Sanjiv Garg, Additional Member T&C, Ministry of Railways will be EC members under the Associate Government Category. Pankaj Srivastava, Director-Commercial, Air India, has been elected EC member under the International Carrier category. Under the Domestic Carrier category, Ragini Chopra, VP, Jet Airways and M.P. Mall, CMD, IRCTC have been elected. The four posts for Travel Agents/Tour Operators category have been given to Vikram Madhok, J.S. Taneja, Snirmol Ghosh, Director, Indo Asia Tours and Anoop Kanuga, Director, Bathija Travels. Under the Hotels/ Associate Hotels category, the three members are: Renu Basu, VP, Indian Hotels; Arjun Sharma, MD, Select Holiday Resorts; and Rohit Arora, GM, Apeejay Surendra Park Hotel. SanJeet will be an EC member under the Sustaining Member category.

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Dec 27 is last date for filing & revision of TRAN-I form

The Ministry of Finance announced December 27, 2017 as the late date for filing the TRAN-1 form under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to avail input tax credit. The Ministry, in a release, informed that a taxpayer could file Form TRAN-1 and avail input tax credit on the basis of closing balance of the input tax credit declared in the last return under the pre GST regime. In keeping with the philosophy of voluntary compliance, revision of Form TRAN-1 has also been provided. The last date for revision of TRAN-1 is also December 27. The Ministry noted that some taxpayers have availed extraordinarily high transitional credit of CGST. Such behaviour leads to breach of trust between the taxpayer and the tax-administration, the release said. Taxpayers who have claimed transitional credit erroneously are advised to avail of the opportunity to revise Form TRAN-1 within the deadline, failing which the tax administration would be constrained to initiate audit and enforcement action against the identified units, the release mentioned.

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Indo-American Chamber & Lords conduct GST session in Mumbai

The Indo-American Business Chamber of SME in association with Lords Hotels & Resorts recently organised a comprehensive forum on Goods & Service Tax (GST) for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai. The forum witnessed a number of entrepreneurs from various industries including manufacturing, real estate, hospitality and banking. Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance, Government of India who was the chief guest for the evening addressed many concerns expressed by the attendees and clarified nuances around the latest GST resolutions announced last month. While applauding the Govt. and its revolutionary tax reform, P R Bansal, Chairman & Managing Director, Lords Hotels & Resorts, also raised a few concerns affecting the real estate and hospitality sectors. In his speech, he appealed to the Minister to consider the pleas and convey the concerns to the GST Council for deliberation. “The reduction in GST rate for restaurant was made by the GST Council based on the feedback we received from people. We are happy that we not only reduced the GST rate from 18 per cent to 5 per cent but also made it uniform for all restaurants,” Shiv Pratap Shukla concluded.  

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Korea Festival celebrated in Gurugram

Ambience Mall, Gurugram played host to a two-day Korea Festival showcasing South Korea’s art, culture and heritage for the visitors to the mall. Organised by (KTO), the event was targeted to the consumers and had a separate stall where travel partners for KTO also showcased their itineraries and travel products to people. The event was inaugurated by Min Hong Min, Executive Vice President, KTO and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The event also saw high energy B-boying performances and Nanta performance by professionals flown in from South Korea, especially for the event.

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Incredible India revamped website to go live on Dec 25: WTM 2017

The India pavilion at the World Travel Market 2017, the leading global event for the travel industry, was abuzz with activities for the trade and consumers alike. Addressing a press conference, Rashmi Verma, Secretary-Tourism, Government of India, launched the all-new Incredible India website which will be going live from December 25.  At the three-day exhibition underway at the ExCeL-London from Nov 6-8, Incredible India showcased a lively celebration of spiritual tourism. The India stand laid special emphasis on the development and promotion of tourism for the North East States with an objective of showcasing the largely untapped tourism potential of the region. The Secretary highlighted the new initiatives for promoting tourism in India. “India Tourism has been going at a fast pace. We have jumped 25 positions as per World Tourism Forum, our ranking has improved from 65 to 40. In terms of international tourist growth in our country, last year it was 9.7 per cent as against the international trend of 3.5 per cent. This year so far it has been very encouraging and it has been at a high of 15.6 per cent. In terms of foreign receipts our growth has been commendable. The international growth has been 2 per cent, ours has been about 8.3 per cent (2016). The growth has been there but still there’s a long way to go.” Verma informed that recently India celebrated tourism fortnight with a focus on encouraging tourism. The MOT started campaigns called ‘Tourism for All’ and ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, focused on domestic tourists as well as NRIs, encouraging them to come to India not only to visit their relatives but also witness the diverse culture of the country. She pointed …

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2nd Aero Expo kicks off in New Delhi

The 2nd Aero Expo organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry got off to an excellent start at New Delhi. The four-day event will also feature India’s first Heli Expo on November 4 and 5. Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the mega event, which will deliberate on the key focus areas for Indian aviation to sustain and grow itself in the coming years. Also gracing the event was Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, among other industry stalwarts and key stakeholders. Speaking about the future prospect of the country’s aviation network, the Vice President of India exclaimed, “Apart from playing a key role in promoting connectivity between various regions and creating jobs, the civil aviation sector is one of the key drivers of the economy. As such, a continued introspection of the current policies, norms and infrastructure needs to be done to ensure the sectors contribution towards the economy.” Jayant Sinha also met with the leading CEOs and CMD of the industry to discuss the future of civil aviation. With 200 million passenger trips per year currently and growing at a rate of 12 per cent, the Indian industry is looking at one billion passenger trips from across the various airports around the country and the 2nd Aero expo highlighted the investment requirements for the same.

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