Fearing delays at Indian airports could deter in-bound business visits, Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy has suggested the software industry spend on creating more lounges to encourage its clients to come to India. "Our clients tell us that long queues at the immigration clearance, at unearthly hours, have proved to be a disincentive for them to visit the software export companies in India for business negotiations and review of projects," he said in a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. "The industry body will be in a position to pay for the expenses of creating and running these lounges at various airports in the country," he said, adding that high comfort VIP lounges could be created at all major airports. Besides, he also suggested facilities for quick immigration and customs clearance "in the lounge". At present, all international airports, including Mumbai and Delhi, have special lounges for first and business class travellers but they do not provide any facility for immigration and customs clearance.
Consequently, all passengers are required to go through the normal channel of immigration. Murthy also suggested creation of a special cell in the Commerce Ministry to provide expeditious clearance for landing of private aircraft of top business people, saying there were delays in granting clearance for landing of private aircraft. Such delays, he said, "has resulted in cancellation of ... visits, and consequently, in the reduction of growth of software export business in Indian companies". He also suggested setting of a special cell in the Commerce Ministry to provide single-window permission for landing of private aircraft of senior management staff. Pointing out that frequent travellers exhausted their passport booklet quickly and faced problems, the Infosys co- founder said the External Affairs Ministry should consider providing 256 page passport on payment of a separate fee. Murthy said such measures would go a long way to "boost the growth prospects for the Indian software export industry".
Source: The Times of India