The representatives of Punjab Travel Agents Association (PTAA) and Association of Consultants for Overseas Studies (ACOS) today called on Punjab NRI Affairs Minister Bikram Singh Majithia to make a detailed representation along with suggestions regarding the registration of Travel Agents, Immigration Agents and Overseas Studies Consultants under Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act 2012.Presiding over the meeting, Mr. Majithia pointed out that the Act was aimed to identify the unscrupulous elements, who were fleecing the innocent people under the garb of travel agents by issuing fake advertisements in media. He said that the Government after thorough consultations at various levels has enacted this act to regulate this industry so that the genuine persons shouldn’t suffer. He said that after registration the persons and companies having registration number could operate in the state. He said that the State government was always open to address issues of industry pertaining to this act to make it more effective as well as to simplify the registration process. He said that this Act could only be implemented in true letter and spirit with cooperation from the industry and he was fully satisfied with the response of the industry.
During the meeting the representatives of PTAA and ACOS while welcoming the licensing regime introduced by the state government and described it as need of the hour to regulate the profession of providing Visa related consultancy and other travel and ticketing services. They raised the issues of power for search and seizure, complaints disposal system, submission of monthly reports, simplification of the process of license application, reduction of licensing fee, mandatory license for any company or inpidual soliciting business from Punjab besides an awareness campaign for both the industry as well as the inpiduals.Appreciating the representatives’ assurance for full cooperation to make this Act more effective, Mr. Majithia informed them that their suggestions would be discussed with Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal so that all the issues raised by them should be sorted out with mutual understanding. He said that the state government would soon launch an awareness campaign at state level to create awareness amongst common masses and would also launch an advertisement campaign regarding the genuine stakeholders in this industry.Earlier Mr. D.S. Bains, Principal Secretary Home briefed about the Act and allayed the apprehensions of industry regarding the act.