The Bold Voice of J&K

Some visa rules can be more subtle: UK Deputy PM

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London, Oct 18 (PTI) Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has assured visiting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of a more pragmatic visa regime during a “very productive meeting” here.

The senior Liberal Democrat leader indicated a review of rules around ICT (inter-company transfer) visas used largely by Indian IT professionals.

“We constantly need to ask ourselves whether we have got the visa rules right and whether we can improve them further.

I think some of the rules around inter-company transfer visas, which affect for instance Indian IT specialists, need to be made more subtle,” Clegg told a media briefing following his meeting with the visiting Indian minister yesterday.

“There are areas where we need to be sensible and pragmatic and also need to spell out loud and clear that some of the rhetoric around the debate on immigration in the UK giving rise to the fear that we are somehow closing our door to Indian students, investors and companies ? that is emphatically not true,” he added.

The two leaders covered a cross-section of issues during their bilateral talks, including the threat of terrorism and working together in the coming months in the run up to the Paris summit on climate change.

“I was very struck when I was in India, by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s personal commitment to sustainability and green development. I urge the Indian government to assume a natural leadership role at those crucial talks,” Clegg said.

The issue of India’s stance in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks also featured heavily, with the UK leader expressing confidence at some “movement” on the issue.

“We attach great importance to finding an amicable and sensible solution to India’s support and ratification of the International Trade Facilitation Agreement, which is crucial for the long-term benefit for the world trade system and I think we are making progress in clarifying some of the crossed wires and legitimate concerns of the Indian government,” he said.

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