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Covid-19: India allows quarantine-free entry for travellers from 99 countries

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NEW DELHI: India on Monday allowed fully vaccinated (with approved jabs) arrivals from 99 countries — including US, UK, UAE, Qatar, France and Germany — to travel quarantine-free in the country.
The decision comes as the country allowed foreign tourists on non-charters. India had suspended tourist visas last March and resumed them from October 15 by allowing them in on charters.
Apart from a Covid negative report within 72 hours of departure to India, travellers from these 99 countries (called Category A) will also need to upload their fully vaccinated certificate on the Air Suvidha portal.
“There are countries which have an agreement with India on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates of nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines. Similarly, there are countries which presently do not have such an agreement with India, but they exempt Indian citizens fully vaccinated with nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines. On the basis of reciprocity, the travellers from all such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians are allowed certain relaxations on arrival (Category A Countries),” say guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on November 11.
For fully vaccinated from Category A countries, it says: “If a traveller is coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved Covid-19 vaccines (Category A): If fully vaccinated: They shall be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival.”

Some countries are currently considered to be “at risk” (from Covid point of view) by India which include-countries in Europe including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Singapore.

“Travellers from Countries excluding those countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post-arrival. This is applicable to travellers from all countries including countries with which reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved Covid-19 vaccines also exist,” it adds.
Fully vaccinated travellers from countries considered at risk but in Category A of the health ministry, like the UK, Singapore and Zimbabwe, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival.
“The global trajectory of Covid-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations. The need to monitor the continuously changing nature of virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must still remain in focus. The existing guidelines (issued on 17th February 2021 with subsequent addendums) for international arrivals in India have been formulated taking a risk-based approach. In view increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed,” the health ministry says while giving the rationale for relaxing the international arrival norms.





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Services sector activity in November registers second-fastest pace of growth since July 2011: Survey

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NEW DELHI: Services sector activity expanded at the second-fastest pace in more than a decade during November, driven by sustained rise in new work and improvement in market conditions, a monthly survey said on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index was at 58.1 in November, fractionally down from 58.4 in October. The November figure points to the second-fastest rise in output since July 2011.
For the fourth straight month, the services sector witnessed an expansion in output. In Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) parlance, a print above 50 means expansion while a score below 50 denotes contraction.
“The recovery of the Indian service sector was extended to November, with a robust improvement in sales enabling the second-fastest rise in business activity in nearly ten-and-a-half years,” Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.
Although companies forecast higher business activity volumes over the course of the coming year, the expansion is expected to be restricted by price pressures.
Amid reports of higher fuel, labour, material, retail and transportation costs, average input prices among Indian services companies rose further in November.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions reportedly caused a further drop in international demand for Indian services. The latest fall in external sales was the twenty-first in successive months although among the slowest over this period, the survey said.
As per the survey, private sector activity in India continued to expand, taking the current sequence of growth to four months.
The composite PMI output index — which measures combined services and manufacturing output — rose from 58.7 in October to 59.2 in November, signalling the strongest upturn since January 2012.
“Looking at the manufacturing and service sectors combined, the results are even more encouraging and bode well for economic performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021-22 so far. With production growth quickening considerably in November, private sector output expanded at the fastest pace since January 2012,” Lima said.
India’s GDP growth stood at 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021-22 and surpassed the pre-Covid level, official data showed on Tuesday.





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ramachandran: Sandeep Ghosh to head Visa India; Ramachandran relocates to Singapore

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MUMBAI: International digital payments major Visa has announced new leadership for India and South Asia, with the incumbent TR Ramachandran being relocated to Singapore from next year to lead its newly created new payment flows business.
Ramachandran will be succeeded by Sandeep Ghosh, most recently a partner and leader of the financial services consulting practice at EY India, said Chris Clark, Visa Inc regional president.
Ramachandran joined Visa in 2015 to lead its business across India and South Asia.
Deutsche Bank India expands wealth management team
Deutsche Bank India has announced expansion of its wealth management team with a team of new hires, taking the total strength to over 15 in the past one year alone.
The additional hires are being made across the areas of relationship management and investment advisory, Amrit Singh, head of wealth management for South Asia said.
Among the new hires include Rajasekar Ayyalu who has joined as a director in Chennai where he will be responsible for expanding and deepening the bank’s presence. He joins from Julius Baer where he was an executive director prior to which he worked at Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
In addition to Rajasekar, four vice-presidents — Jai Bhatia, Sanyam Sharma , Anjali Vashisth and Manish Lalwani–have joined the Delhi and Mumbai offices as relationship managers, Atinkumar Saha, head of wealth management at Deutsche Bank India said.





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Net direct tax revenue rises 68% to Rs 6.92 lakh crore till November 23

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NEW DELHI: The net direct tax collection grew nearly 68 per cent during April 1 to November 23 to more than Rs 6.92 lakh crore, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said on Monday.
“The Net Direct Tax Collection figures for the FY- 2021-22 as on 23.11.2021 are at Rs 6,92,833.6 crores showing a growth of 67.93 per cent and 27.29 per cent over the net collection figures for the corresponding period FY2020-21 and FY 2019-20,” he said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The net collection between April 1 – November 23 in 2020-21 and 2019-20 fiscals was over Rs 4.12 lakh crore and over Rs 5.44 lakh crore respectively.
The gross direct tax collection (before adjusting refunds) as of November 23 stood at over Rs 8.15 lakh crore, a 48.11 growth over the collections in the corresponding period in last fiscal.
Chaudhary further said that the gross GST collection in the current fiscal (April 2021-March’22) post Covid-19 outbreak is showing an increasing trend.
The gross GST collection for full 2020-21 ended March 2021 was over Rs 11.36 lakh crore, while the same in the current fiscal till October stood at Rs 8.10 lakh crore.
In reply to a separate question on whether incidents of tax evasion are increasing in Delhi and other parts of the country, Chaudhary said there is no evidence to suggest that incidents of income tax evasion are increasing in Delhi and other parts of the country.
“In terms of cases detected under Goods & Service Tax (GST) and Customs, there is no increasing trend in such evasion noticed in Delhi, although, there is overall increase in detection of GST and Customs evasion cases in the country,” he added.





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