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Easier visa norms for India: Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel was earlier reluctant to relax the norms as there had been complaints of misuse.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 02:22 IST

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel assured on Monday that visa norms would be eased for Indian professionals and businessmen.

Merkel, who had on Sunday acknowledged that Indian businessmen and IT professionals were facing visa hassles, officially conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the issue would be resolved amicably.

According to senior PMO officials, she told Manmohan that she was issuing instructions to her officials to ensure that the visa norms were eased.

Merkel had earlier expressed reluctance to relax the visa regime for Indian businessmen and professionals, saying that there had been complaints of misuse.

Her comments assume significance against the backdrop of the recent controversy involving a senior IFS official Rakesh Kumar, who has been charged with facilitating the flight of a dance troupe to Germany with fake documents.

Both the Prime Minister and the Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal took up the issue of the liberalised visa regime for Indians during the meeting with the German Chancellor.

They were of the view that a rigid visa regime was coming in the way of enhanced trade and economic ties between the two countries as well as in the migration of Indian professionals to Germany.