NATIONAL

India Business Card for SAARC trade

Taking forward its bonhomie with Pakistan, India is all set to launch an “India Business Card” for the business community in SAARC countries. The stumbling block so far for issuance of this card had been Pakistan, but the decks have now been cleared with renewed ties with Pakistan, a senior government official said.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi all set to visit Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit in late 2016, the government wants to deliver on the announcements he made during the summit in Nepal.

In the past two weeks, India and Pakistan have had two meetings at the level of National Security Adviser (NSA) and foreign ministers. Earlier in July, India relaxed business visa norms for Pakistan, which is valid for three years now, up from one year earlier, and businessmen would be able to visit up to 15 places. Intelligence agencies had expressed apprehension over easing visa restrictions on businessmen from Pakistan, but the government prevailed over their concerns saying it was required to bring in normality in the region.

“The India Business Card will have a special logo and will be only given to businessmen of high repute. It is being done with an aim of ease of business and gels with the ‘Make in India’ policy of the government,” said a senior Home Ministry official.

It was not clear whether Pakistan businessmen would be allowed in the manufacturing sector and given a green signal to open factories here.

“We are still working on the modalities and the business card is being issued to facilitate trade and commerce,” said the official.

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