New Delhi, Sept. 4: India will soon sign an agreement with Pakistan on liberal visa norms for business travellers.
"From our side, it is ready and it will be signed soon," commerce minister Anand Sharma said at a meeting organised by Ficci here today.
The agreement will allow business travellers of both countries to visit five cities instead of three with one-year multiple entry visas. They will also be exempted from reporting to the police on arrival and departure.
The proposal also includes non-business visas for divided families, particularly for those above 65 years and wanting to attend marriages and funerals.
Sharma said a clear announcement on the visa pact would be made during external affairs minister S.M. Krishna's visit to Pakistan later this week.
He said the two countries would soon sign three pacts on customs co-operation, mutual recognition of standards and redress of trade issues. The memoranda of understanding on the three issues were signed during Sharma's visit to Islamabad in February.
Sharma said India would soon make its stand clear on permitting businessmen to invest in Pakistan. "There were some doubts, whether Indian industry is allowed to invest or not. The answer is yes. It is just a procedural formality. I have been informed that it is getting addressed. It is just a matter of days. So both ways investment flow will start."
India has recently notified allowing Pakistani businessmen to invest in the country after getting approval from New Delhi. Sharma also allayed Pakistan's concern regarding Indian goods flooding its markets. He said free flow of goods and investment would help both the economies.
He added that there was also a need to open more land trade routes. Both the sides are in talks to open the route that extends from Munnabao in Rajasthan to Khokrapar in Sindh.
Haider Abbas Rizvi, a member of the Pakistan national assembly, said the increase in trade and investment would help both sides resolve other matters. "Our relationship should not become hostage to any issue or incident. Our dialogue process should be irrevocable. Non-tariff barriers should be curbed to boost trade."
Bilateral trade stood at $2.7 billion in 2010-11. The two sides have fixed a trade target of $6 billion in three years.