International Travelers visiting India on e-tourist visas will receive a SIM upon arrival, from the end of September 2016. The Home Ministry has approved the same and will collaborate with the state-run BSNL to provide SIM cards.
The Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said, “We had a number of meetings with the Home Ministry with regard to providing SIM cards to foreign tourists when they land in India. The ministry has finally agreed to our proposal. Now, it will take some time to start the facility.”
According to the Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi, “The e-tourist visa holders could get the welcome kit which would include a SIM card from BSNL counter as soon as they come out the airport. BSNL has agreed…the last level discussion is going on,”
“I think the facility would be launched by September-end, probably on World Tourism Day (which falls on September 27).”
The foreign travelers visiting India, face difficulty in making calls to their people in distant lands, and largely depend on telephone booths. This move aims to equip foreign nationals during their visit, with mobile phones to make calls during travels, distress or otherwise.
The money to be loaded with the SIM is not yet decided.