eGovernance in India

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NE failed on tourism projects: Soni //

Posted by egovindia on July 4, 2006

NE failed on tourism projects: Soni
By a Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 3: The north-eastern States have so far failed to avail the opportunities of some Centrally-sponsored schemes for promoting tourism in the region. This was stated by Ambika Soni, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, while inaugurating a meeting to review issues relating to tourism and culture in the region here today.
The meeting, first of its kind in the region, was attended among others by ministers and top officials of Tourism and Culture from the Centre and the north-eastern States. “The UPA Government has laid special emphasis on overall development and employment generation in the north-eastern region,” the Union Minister said.
She, however, said that the States of the region had failed to take the opportunities under some special Central schemes for promoting tourism. One such scheme, according to the Union Minister, is the ‘Big Budget Scheme,’ under which the Centre provides up to Rs 30 crore.

Similarly, according to Soni, the opportunities under the scheme to encourage ‘budget hotels’ around tourist spots in the region have not been properly availed yet. Under the scheme, the Union Ministry for Tourism provides 10 per cent subsidy up to Rs 75 lakh to private parties for the setting up of three-star hotels.
The Union Minister said that the Centre had so far sanctioned Rs 270 crore for development of tourism in the North-east by the UPA Government at the Centre. According to her, the share of tourism from the total amount coming to the region in the form of 10 per cent spending of the Budgets of all the Central Government’s departments for the North-east is Rs 83 crore. The amount might be increased to Rs 100 crore if the States of the region could submit viable projects, she added.
Soni has sought status reports of various projects sanctioned during the Ninth and the Tenth Plans. “I would like to know what new inputs you want to give in this meeting for promoting campaign to boost tourism in this part of the world at national and international level,” she said.
Issues relating to restricted area permit and inner-line permit in the North-east were among the key agendas of the meeting. The meeting also discussed the 2,550th anniversary of Mahanirvana of Lord Buddha, cultural festivals of the North-east and constitution of the proposed North-east Tourism Development Fund. Soni said that her ministry had decided to organize an ‘Octave’ cultural festival, which took place in New Delhi recently, every year to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the eight north-eastern States.
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