The government has received a number of representations on conference visa norms, requesting it to reconsider the revised guidelines
The Indian government on Tuesday said that it was ready to revisit the new guidelines issued for granting tourist and conference visas if there were genuine grievances, reports PTI.
Home secretary Gopal K Pillai said that the government has received a number of representations requesting it to reconsider the revised guidelines.
"Government makes rules, government makes regulations which may not be correct. But in a democracy there is a system, we correct ourselves if a mistake is made. If (an) error is made, we correct them," Mr Pillai said while addressing a seminar on ‘Thought Policing or Fighting Terror; Home Ministry's Curbs on Foreign Scholars’.
Later, Mr Pillai told reporters, "We have received a number of representations (on conference visas) and we are examining them. This is under consideration".
His comments came when asked whether there was any move to revisit the new guidelines for conference visas.
According to the revised guidelines for conference visas, prior security clearance from the home ministry is required for participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistani origin and stateless persons.
Besides, the home ministry's clearance is also required if the participation involves a visit to restricted or protected areas in India or to areas affected by terrorism, militancy and extremism, like Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern states, and if the conference involves politically sensitive subjects.
Referring to the restrictions imposed on issuing tourist visas, the home secretary said that the government was open to amend any rules if there was any 'mistake'.
Mr Pillai wondered how many of the six million genuine tourists, who visit India every year, would like to come back to India within 60 days. "Six million tourists come and go. How many of them come within 60 days? Possibly not even 0.1% of the total number of tourists," he said.
The recent guidelines on tourist visas stipulate a gap of at least two months between two visits to the country. Mr Pillai, however, said that the government was ready to examine if any genuine tourist is harassed following the new guidelines.
"If the problem is of that 0.1%, we are ready to see how best that can be corrected. The government is willing to see how best the problem of that 0.1% people is solved. But no decision can satisfy all people. That is part of the problem. That is the government system," he said.
The art house plans an auction this month, proceeds of which would be used to redeem the art fund. However, Osian officials claim that a major chunk of the redemption amount would be paid before the auction
After months of delay in redemption of the Osian Art Fund, the art house would be organising an auction of selected paintings this month to redeem the Fund. While a major proportion of the redemption amount is likely to be paid before the auction, the proceeds from the auction are likely to be used pay the remaining amount.
“The redemption of the art fund is nearly complete and all unit-holders would have received Rs90 out of Rs111.72 before the auction,” stated a company official from Osian in a mail to Moneylife. On being questioned whether the proceeds from the auction would be further used to pay the remaining redemption amount, the official said, “The auction will help us redeem the Fund.”
Osian will be holding an auction named the ‘Masterpiece Series’ on 20 March 2010 in Mumbai. The auction will have artworks of famous artists like Raja Ravi Varma, MF Husain, Akbar Padmasee, Tyeb Mehta and Bikash Bhattacharjee.
Moneylife had earlier reported that some investors had received their first payments, but a number of them still await the same. Osian has been able to shell out a part-payment of around 75% to 85% of the total amount to some of its investors. The company claimed that the payment was 90% of the invested capital.
Though the company started this process way back in December 2009, a number of investors still await the first payment. Those who have received the first payment are also apprehensive on whether they will receive the remaining amount. In one of the last notes sent by Osian to all its investors in December 2009, it claimed that the first instalments would be completed in the month of December itself.
Officials from Osian had also admitted to difficulties in selling some of the artwork inventories. The Osian Art Fund was a 36-month close-ended scheme launched in July 2006. It made a quiet exit and at that time company officials claimed that the returns would be around 5% per annum. As ambiguity on the final net-asset value continues, the investor is clueless about what the exact total redemption amount would be. As of July 2006, the fund’s total corpus was Rs102.40 crore and it had 656 unit-holders across 39 cities.
The carry-trade bubble is around the $500 billion dollar level and growing. The bigger it gets, the more danger, since there is no foreseeable way for it to deflate short of bursting.