Modi nudges British PM May to lift protectionist visa policy
Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the two Prime Ministers also discussed further enhancement of bilateral defence partnership, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
“Prime Minister also touched on UK’s visa policy. In particular, he said that the new UK regulations could have negative impact on Indian working professionals wishing to visit UK for short term business visits,” Swarup said.
The Prime Minister invited British firms to ‘Make in India’ as both leaders also looked forward to an early visit by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the UK, he said. May said she was very keen to support Modi’s vision for India and the broader strategic partnership including the decisions taken during his successful visit to Britain last November.
She also underlined the importance Britain attaches to the Indian diaspora. This was their first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders after May took over as the Prime Minister following the resignation of David Cameron after Britain’s exit from the European Union. The fact that she had deputed three Ministers to India Preeti Patel, Alok Sharma, and Greg Clarke showed the priority she attached to India, Swarup said.
“The Prime Minister underlined that even after the Brexit, the UK remained as important to India as before,” he said. Modi also sought the British Prime Minister’s suggestions on further strengthening the partnership particularly trade and investment ties.
In this context, he referred to the recent launch of the HSBC Corporate Rupee bond on the London Stock Exchange which has been very successful. India, Modi said, also needed more UK participation in ‘Make in India’. The Prime Minister also referred to passage of GST bill, which he said would further boost trade and investment ties with UK, Swarup said Modi also invited May to visit India in her new capacity. May accepted the invitation and said she would like to make as early a visit to India as possible.
‘India’s priority is to work towards TFA for services’
PM Modi on Monday said the country’s priority will be to work towards trade facilitation agreement (TFA) for services, a move that will help in movement of professionals. “Knowledge- and innovation-driven economy requires free mobility. India’s priority is to work towards Trade Facilitation Agreement for Services,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a series of tweets.
India is pitching for this at the WTO as the services sector has a huge potential and it contributes significantly to the country s economy. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said India would move a proposal on this at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Premji raises ‘us visas’ with Nirmala
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday met with Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and is understood to have discussed visa problems being faced by Indian professionals in the US. Time and again, India has raised the issue of hike in visa fee by the US. It has also filed a case at WTO against the US decision to impose high fees on temporary working visas. In a tweet, the commerce and industry ministry said Premji and the minister discussed IT-related issues.