MIC youth wing chief C. Sivarraajh has joined the growing chorus calling on the Indian government to reconsider its decision to hike visa fees for Malaysians visiting India.
He said the increase could damper Malaysians from visiting India, pointing out that many Malaysians travelled regularly to India on business trips, to tour and for pilgrimage.
“The huge leap in Indian visa fees would certainly be a setback for Malaysians,” said Sivarraajh in a statement on Monday.
Since Kuala Lumpur’s strong bilateral ties with New Delhi was reinforced with Prime Minister Najib Razak’s official visit to India last week, he said the Indian government should, as a goodwill gesture, halt the visa fee hike.
“The Indian government should resolve the matter amicably for the benefit of everyone,” he said.
He also explained to Malaysians that the visa fee increase was decided by the Indian, not Malaysian, government.
“Unscrupulous quarters are blaming our government when it has nothing to do with it.
“The fee revenue goes to the Indian government. Malaysians should understand this clearly,” stressed Sivarraajh.
Previously MIC president and Health Minister S. Subramaniam has also expressed his disappointment at the Indian government’s proposed visa fee increase.
He has already conveyed MIC unhappiness over the matter to the Indian High Commissioner.
He said it was unfair for the Indian government to make it costly for Malaysians to travel to India, particularly for religious reasons, when Malaysia was taking measures to make it easier for Indian nationals to visit Malaysia.
Indian visitors visiting Malaysia gets visa-free arrival if they are staying in the country for 15 days.
On the other hand, the proposed visa fee for Malaysians visiting India has increased from RM180 to RM456.