Budget 2023: Rs 2,400 Crore Allocated To Tourism Sector To Harness Entrepreneurial Potential Of Youth; 'Dekho Apna Desh' Steals Spotlight
States will be encouraged to set up 'Unity Malls' in state capital and promote 'One District One Product', GI products, handicrafts and products of other states.
The Union Budget has envisaged development of 50 tourist destinations for providing a wholesome tourism experience under Swadesh Darshan Scheme. It has allocated Rs 2,400 crore for tourism as the sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth.
The Union Budget 2023-24 announced on Wednesday (1 February), highlighted tourism as one of the major sectors contributing to the overall economy of the country.
Emphasizing the fact that the country has immense attractions for both domestic and foreign tourists, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, stated that the sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth in particular.
She also stated that promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode, with active participation of states, convergence of government programmes and public-private partnerships.
The Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister for the continued focus placed on the development of large infrastructure, connectivity and border linkages, which will play a major role in boosting tourism in India.
The ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative of the Ministry of Tourism also got a well deserved spotlight in the Union Budget speech, highlighting the importance of domestic tourism in boosting the local economy.
Out of the total Rs 2,400 crore allocated to the Ministry of Tourism, a major portion of the outlay amounting to Rs 1,742 crore is allocated for development of tourism infrastructure and an amount of Rs 242 crore for promotion and branding.
An outlay of Rs 1,412 crore has been allocated for the 'Swadesh Darshan Scheme'. Swadesh Darshan is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism.
The Finance Minister announced that with an integrated and innovative approach, 50 tourist destinations would be developed for providing a wholesome tourism experience providing physical, digital and virtual connectivity, availability of tourist guides and tourist security.
Such destinations would be developed as a complete package under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
An integrated and innovative Vibrant Village Programme for development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in border villages has been proposed.
An amount of Rs 250 crore has been allocated for the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) Scheme. The PRASAD Scheme aims for holistic development of selected pilgrimage destinations in the country.
The Champion Service Sector Scheme has been provided an allocation of Rs 196.22 crore. Allocation of Rs 105 crore has been made for Human Resource Development and capacity building to meet the requirement of trained manpower in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The Ministry has earmarked an allocation of Rs 229 crore for tourism infrastructure, promotion of north-eastern states under this year’s Budget allocation.
The Finance Minister announced that an App will be developed covering all relevant aspects of tourism. States will be encouraged to set up Unity Malls in state capital, as the most prominent tourism centres to promote 'One District One Product', Geographical Indication (GI) products, handicrafts and products of other states.
Sector specific skilling and entrepreneurship development will be dovetailed to achieve the objectives of the Dekho Apna Desh Initiative. This was launched as an appeal by the Prime Minister to the middle class to prefer domestic tourism over international tourism.
As a whole-of-government approach, some announcements that may indirectly aid tourism sector
● PM VIshwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS)
A package of assistance has been conceptualized for encouraging traditional arts and handicrafts. The art and handicraft created by the artisans represent the true spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The components of the scheme will include not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, brand promotion, linkage with local and global markets, digital payments, and social security.
● Amrit Dharohar
Wetlands are vital ecosystems which sustain biological diversity. In his latest 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister highlighted the increase in the total number of Ramsar sites in our country to 75 from 26, a few years back.
The government will promote their unique conservation values through 'Amrit Dharohar', a scheme that will be implemented over the next three years to encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance biodiversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities.
● Viability Gap Funding To Promote Coastal Shipping
Coastal shipping will be promoted as an energy efficient and lower cost mode of transport, both for passengers and freight, through PPP mode with viability gap funding.
● Relief For MSMEs
Budget has proposed revamping of the credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs. The revamped scheme will take effect from 1 April 2023 through infusion of Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus. This will enable additional collateral-free guaranteed credit of Rs 2 lakh crore.
Micro enterprises with turnover up to Rs 2 crore and certain professionals with turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh can avail the benefit of presumptive taxation. Budget has proposed to provide enhanced limits of Rs 3 crore and Rs 75 lakh respectively.
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