Union Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma said on Monday that the ministry has discontinued a scheme to provide free SIM cards to foreign tourists on their arrival in India, PTI reported. “It has been discontinued as it was felt not necessary to do so,” Verma said on Monday.

Former Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma had launched the scheme in February 2017. The facility had been introduced to help foreign tourists remain connected until their own SIM cards were activated after arriving in India. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd SIM cards had a balance of Rs 50 and 50 MB of data. They were valid for 30 days and allowed the tourists to access a 24-hour helpline available in 12 languages, including Russian, German and Japanese.

But Verma said tourists use social media apps and Wi-Fi facility, which is available at most airports. She added that the helpline will be expanded with more languages.