Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the procedure to get visas should be relaxed for Pakistanis wanting to visit Ajmer Sharif shrine.
Modi was inaugurating the annual convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators XXVII IATO at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Thursday when he suggested this to Union Tourism Secretary R H Khwaja, who was present at the event.
Modi said, “Many Pakistanis come to India to watch cricket matches and may wish to visit Ajmer Sharif shrine, but their visas are allowed only for the match venue. The procedures should be made easy.”
He also suggested that the Union government should give airfare subsidy to people of Indian origin to motivate them to witness Kumbh melas. Targeting the UPA government Modi said, “I don’t know whether the present Union government will consider it as secular or not but it will boost tourism to a great extent.” He added that the Kumbh Mela subsidy should be treated like Haj pilgrimage subsidy. The CM said that to boost tourism in the country the Union government should start various religious tourism circuits such as Krishna circuit, Sikh pilgrimage circuit etc.
Modi admitted that Gujarat has missed the tourism bus but now wants to promote it as an important sector on a priority basis.
Vijay Thakur, president of the tour operator association, said that “they expect relaxation in the luxury and other taxes, best hotel facilities, excellent connectivity and other infrastructure to attract tourists to Gujarat.’’