With Punjab and Haryana high court making registration of immigration/ travel consultants mandatory, the Punjab government now has announced June 30 as the last date for travel consultants to get registered.
These consultants, IELTS coaching institutes and even the ticketing agents will now have to get registered under the Punjab Travel Professional’s Regulation Act.
The development is significant considering the issue of travel consultants indulging in frauds.
This initiative to keep a check on such travel consultants began with the court initiative in 2006.
The local administration now has enough authority to control mushrooming of these consulting agents and also, those opening to provide IELTS coaching institutes.
The state government in its letter dated May 26 had asked the local administration through their DCs and SSPs to start this process of registration and complete the same within said deadline of June 30.
Following this, those who fail to get registered will face legal action, cancellation of licence and can also be put behind bars.
As per the HC decision dated April 27, there is no pendency and the state government has a free hand to prosecute any unregistered travel agent, those running IELTS coaching institutes and ticketing agents.
The new amended Act and rules have been in force and duly notified by the HC. The Act, earlier named as the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act 2012, has been renamed to Punjab Travel Professional’s Regulation Act.
The amendments, meanwhile, are outcome of discussions with agents and consultants. This was being done on the HC directions.
Reportedly as per the data presented in the HC, only 215 odd consultants have registered across the entire state as of now, while the number of such consultants runs into thousands.
Talking specifically of SAS Nagar, not more than 13 consultants have got themselves registered with the local administration, while the total number is around 1,000.
Commenting on this letter being issued by the state government, SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said, “We have received directions and now in coordination with the DC office, we shall be starting a drive to have these consultants registered.
Applications will be processed in time and also police verification mandatory requirement before issuing license will be done at the earliest.”