In a major boost to trade and tourism in Assam and the North-eastern region, the government of India on Thursday lifted restrictions on international roaming here and directed the Licensed Service Providers to provide the facility to foreign subscribers at the earliest. This decision was conveyed to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal by Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (independent charge) for Communications, Government of India, the press release issued by Assam CM’s office said.
Earlier, Sonowal had written to the union minister in March 217 to lift the restrictions on international roaming in Assam and the North-eastern region in the interest to attract foreign investors as well as more foreign tourists to the region.
“Due to the restrictions on international roaming, foreign tourists and businessmen visiting the North-eastern region have been facing a lot of inconvenience. This had also discouraged foreign tourists from visiting in large numbers to the region and dissuaded foreign investors as well,” the Assam CM’s office press release said.
Welcoming the union Communications ministry’s decision, Chief Minister Sonowal expressed his gratitude to the Centre and said that the decision would give a much-needed boost to the development initiatives of the Assam government.
With security agencies and the Army objecting, prepaid mobile service users of other telecom circles of the country India were not allowed roaming facilities while visiting the seven North-eastern states including Assam. That restriction however was lifted in May 2011.