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MHA to relax Protected Area Permit regime from Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur

Published on April 26, 2018
The home ministry has decided to relax the six-decade-old Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime from Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur.
  • This would be with effect from 1st April 2018.
  • The move is being initiated to promote tourism, create job opportunities for the locals and generate revenue for the states.
  • Foreign tourists, except those from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, would now be allowed to visit these places without a special permit.

What are Protected Areas?

  • Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the Inner line and the International Border of some states were declared as protected areas.
  • The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others under the restricted area.

Protected Area Permit

  • As per MHA’s December 2010 circular, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland were excluded from protected area regime initially for a period of one year from January 2011, subject to some conditions.
  • Under Protected areas Regime, foreign nationals are not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify their visit.
  • Except for the citizens of Bhutan, every foreigner who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area, is required to obtain special permit (PAP) from competent authority.
  • In cases of the citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit can be issued without the prior approval of the Union Home Ministry.
  • Necessary powers have been delegated to various authorities to issue such special permits without the prior approval of the Home Ministry to facilitate foreign tourists.
  • In cases of foreign diplomats, including the members of the United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, the special permits to visit such protected or restricted areas are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
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