Lanka wants India to relax visa rules

Sri Lanka has sought some relaxation on employment visa from India and both countries are engaged in negotiations to simplify the visa regime, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said on Saturday.

Sharma, who is here on an official visit, met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa over lunch on Saturday and discussed bilateral ties and the purpose of his visit to the island nation.

The Minister also apprised Rajapaksa of the decisions taken during the visit and India’s decision to set up a Special Economic Zone on automobile, engineering goods and pharma hub.

Sources said Sharma informed Rajapaksa that Commerce Secretaries of both countries are already engaged in simplifying the visa regime. Sri Lanka has sought relaxation on the employment visa.

The sources said Rajapaksa told Sharma that he will visit India soon.

On Friday, Sharma had discussed with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Pieris issues relating to customs clearance.

“We will resolve all issues relating to customs clearance. India will be sending a draft customs cooperation agreement to Sri Lanka soon,” Sharma said. (PTI)