IATO successfully addresses permit hurdle, facilitating unhindered entry for Taiwanese tourists into Sikkim
Rajiv Mehra, President of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), highlighted the challenges faced by Taiwanese nationals visiting Sikkim. The Sikkim Permit issued by INDIA-TAIPEI ASSOCIATION, Taipei, was not being accepted by the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) at Rango Checkpost.
According to Mehra, reports from IATO members indicated that officials at the Rangpo FRO outpost were rejecting the Sikkim Permit, claiming that it was not issued by the Indian Embassy. They argued that INDIA-TAIPEI ASSOCIATION is merely an association. The FRO in Rangpo had instructions to disallow individuals with the Republic of China or People's Republic of China passports from entering Sikkim without clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs or Ministry of External Affairs.
IATO raised the issue with the Joint Secretary (Foreigners) of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, Government of India. They emphasised that the Sikkim Permit issued by the India-Taipei Association had been accepted without problems in the past.
IATO requested the authorities to intervene and issue suitable directives to Rangpo outpost officials to accept the Inner Line Permit issued by the India-Taipei Association. This was to ensure a smooth entry for Taiwanese tourists into Sikkim. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration favourably considered IATO's request, and the Inner Line Permit from India-Taipei Association is now accepted at Rangpo Check-post, allowing Taiwanese tourists to enter Sikkim without inconvenience. Mehra expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration for their positive consideration.