Indian embassy cancels BLS Intl's visa outsourcing contract
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The Indian embassy here has cancelled a contract for visa outsourcing awarded to an Indian firm in July and issued invitation for fresh bids, without citing any reason.
BLS International Services Ltd, whose contract has been cancelled by the embassy, was scheduled to replace Travisa for visa processing with effect from October 1.
The contract of Travisa, which expired on September 30, has been extended by three months till December 31, 2012.
Under the cancelled contract, BLS was to charge USD7.30 per applicant as the service provider's fee instead of the USD13 being currently charged by Travisa India Outsourcing.
Without giving any justification and reasoning, the Indian embassy issued a fresh bid for visa outsourcing on contract on October 10.
Both the invitation for bids and request for proposal (RFP) for outsourcing of services issued by the Indian embassy on October 10 left a number of questions unanswered for the prospective bidders.
Flooded by questions of prospective bidders, the Indian embassy issued a six-page clarification yesterday.
November 1 is the last day for submission for bids. In its rejoinder, the Indian embassy yesterday clarified that only Indian companies would be allowed to bid for outsourcing of visas.
During the previous bidding process Indo-German Consultancy Services Neumarkt was disqualified by the Indian embassy.
Meanwhile, the number of visas issued by the Indian embassy here and four other consulates in the US – Houston, San Francisco, Chicago and New York -- has dropped by more than a lakh in the past one year.
In the year 2011, as many as 3,44,458 Indian visas were issued by the Indian diplomatic missions in the US, which dropped to 2,39,996 visas.
This is a significant drop of over 30 per cent in one year.
In the year 2010, as many as 3,35,025 visas were issued.
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