No visa fees for first 5 lakh foreign tourists who will visit India

India's government has announced it will provide free visas to 5 lakh tourists. In a press conference, Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister of India, announced a series of economic relief measures that will help the sector badly affected by the second wave Covid-19.The ministry of Finance presented that Indian tourists spent USD 30.098 billion in leisure and business spending during the briefing.The average Indian tourist spends USD 34 per day (INR 2400) and stays in India for 21 days. It said that the first 5 million Tourist Visas will be free once visa issuance has been restarted. Only one tourist will be eligible for the benefit. The scheme will apply until 31 March 2022, or until 5 lakh visas have been issued, whichever comes first. The total financial impact is estimated to be INR 100 million.The Centre also announced financial assistance to over 11,000 registered travel and tourism professionals. People working in the tourism sector will receive a 100% guarantee on personal or working capital loans. The ministry stated that there were no processing fees or waivers of prepayment charges.Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, stated that the new loan guarantee program will help 10,700 regional-level tourist guides and Travel and Tourism stakeholders (TTS), who are recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and state governments. New Credit Guarantee Scheme was also announced by the finance minister to allow loans for 25 lakh people through Micro Finance Institutions. The interest rate on loans from banks is set at MCLR plus 2 percent. The emphasis will be on new lending and not the repayment of existing loans.