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Oj Corner
Special column
by OJ George

Cheque facility won't be withdrawn, says the govt
It is a matter of relief that the Union Government has clarified that cheque facility won't be withdrawn.

There were stray reports that an overenthusiastic government favaouring total digitalisation may go in for banning the cheque books.


It is gratifying to note that the government won't proceed with the reforms this way.
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Visa-free entry in Qatar for 80 countries
Qatar will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, with immediate effect, Qatari officials announced today.

The countries include the UK, the USA, Canada, India, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand.

Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.

Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry); or it will be valid for 30 days and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar (multiple-entry) with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days.*

Hassan Al Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority said, “With 80 nationalities eligible for a free visa waiver upon arrival, Qatar is now the most open country in the region and we are delighted to invite visitors to discover our renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.”

In November 2016, Qatar introduced a free transit visa, which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting in Qatar for a minimum of five hours to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days). In May 2017, QTA and Qatar Airways launched +Qatar, a package which includes a free night’s stay in a 5- or 4- star hotel in Doha, alongside a complimentary transit visa.

*Entry to Qatar is approved at the sole discretion of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.
   
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