Union Budget 2013: Government hikes tourism funding

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 12:24 hrs

The government has hiked the allocation for the tourism sector to Rs.1,297.66 crore ($23 million) in the 2013-2014 budget from Rs.1,110.96 crore ($20 million) in 2011-12 keeping in view the importance of the sector as a potential revenue earner.

The increase is Rs.87.66 crore ($ 16.2 million approx) compared to last year, the tourism ministry said.

The allocation for plan projects and schemes for the benefit of northeastern region and Sikkim has been hiked from Rs.121 crore ($22 mn) to Rs.129 ($23 million approx).

The allocation under this head in the budget for 2011-2012 was Rs.110 crore ($20 million approx).

The ministry said the increased funding will create more infrastructural facilities on construction of budget accommodation, wayside amenities, tourist reception centers, refurbishment of monuments, special tourism projects, adventure and sports facilities, sound and light shows, illuminations of monuments, providing for improvement in solid waste management and sewerage management and improvement of surroundings.

This provision also relates to the large revenue generating projects, generating revenue through levy of fees or user charges like tourist trains, cruise vessels, cruise terminals, convention centre and golf courses.

The budget has also recommended creation of land banks for hotels to provide accommodation in the country by purchasing land and building them through public private partnerships.

The provision also includes externally aided projects (including UNDP Endogenous Tourist Projects) and assistance to central agencies for tourism infrastructural development.

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