Expressing concern over Britain's plan to introduce a scheme of demanding a whopping 3,000 pounds visa bond from visitors from certain countries, including India, FICCI today said the proposed move could "certainly impact" India Inc's investment plans for the UK. "It is indeed a matter of concern if the UK Government actualises its plans to seek 3,000 pounds refundable bonds from Indians applying for UK visas in the immediate future. It could certainly impact the Indian industry's investment plans for the UK," industry body FICCI said. Moreover, grouping India, which has emerged as the fourth largest investor in UK, with countries like Ghana, Uganda, Pakistan and Bangladesh was also a matter of concern, FICCI said.
Earlier, the Home Office had been forced to re-look at its proposed pilot scheme to demand these hefty bonds with visitor visa applications from certain "high risk" countries, which are believed to include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana. But the Home Office, which has claimed the pilot will be "tightly targeted", remains vague on the actual list of countries where the scheme will be applied. "It is hoped that the category won't include business representatives," FICCI said.
However, it has emerged that the scheme is to go ahead despite widespread opposition for a 12-month pilot starting this November. We hope that as more details come by, the apprehensions of the business community will be considered, it said.
Not only the expensive visa bond may hit investments but grouping India with countries like Ghana and Bangladesh is serious.