Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside certain states, to obtain such a permit.
At present, the ILP is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. In Manipur, large scale protests have called for its implementation for years.
Under the ILP system, a certificate can be issued to outsiders only for travel in the areas covered by ILP. A non-resident also cannot buy property in these areas. Long term residence however, is allowed under certain kinds of ILP. Such provisions though are not valid for Central government employees and security personnel.
The other concept is Protected Areas Permit.
Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the ‘Inner line’, as defined in the said order, and the International Border of the State have been declared as a Protected Area. Currently, Protected Areas are located in the following States: –
(i) Whole of Arunachal Pradesh
(ii) Parts of Himachal Pradesh
(iii) Parts of Jammu & Kashmir
(iv) Whole of Manipur
(v) Whole of Mizoram
(vi) Whole of Nagaland
(vii) Parts of Rajasthan
(viii) Whole of Sikkim (partly in Protected Area and partly in Restricted Area)
(ix) Parts of Uttarakhand
A foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a Protected / Restricted Area unless it is established to the satisfaction of the Government that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify such a visit. Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a Protected or Restricted Area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority delegated with powers to issue such a special permit to a foreigner, on application.
Recently, Jammu and Kashmir government has relaxed the Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime to enable foreigners to visit restricted areas in Leh district of Ladakh, a decision which is expected to increase the footfall of tourists and give considerable boost to the local economy. It will create a positive impact on the life and livelihood of the people residing in these remote areas.