Ms. NirmalaSitaraman proposes Rs 2,500 Crore for Tourism&Rs 3,150 Crore for Ministry of Culture apart from 100 new airports by 2024
In an effort to make India an attractive destination for both international and domestic tourists, Ms. Nirmala Sitaraman, Finance Minister, Government of India proposed to allocate Rs 2,500 crores in 2020-21 for the tourism sector. Besides tourism, the Finance Minister also proposed to allocate Rs.3,150 crore for the Ministry of Culture while presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament today, February 1, 2020. Various announcements during the budget presentation for different sectors will, directly and indirectly, the benefit to tourism and related sectors, especially through the major road, rail, inland waterways, and civil aviation infrastructure developmental measures throughout the country.
The Finance Minister has announced that 100 more airports would be developed by 2024 to support the Udaan scheme. She also remarked in her Budget presentation that India’s Air traffic has grown rapidly as compared to the global average and the Air fleet number was expected to go up from the present 600 to 1200 during this time.
In order to have well-trained human resources in the disciplines of museology and archaeology, the Finance Minister proposed to establish the first Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation with the status of a deemed university to operate under the Ministry of Culture. She said, “Acquisition of knowledge in disciplines such as museology and archaeology are essential for collecting and analysing scientific evidence of such findings and for dissemination through high-quality museums.”
Highlighting improved tourism revenues due to better rank, the Finance Minister said, “India had moved up from rank 65 in 2014 to 34 in 2019 in the Travel & Tourism Competitive Index (World Economic Forum).” Due to this, she continued, “Foreign Exchange earnings grew 7.4% to Rs.1.88 lakh crores for the period January 2019 from Rs.1.75 lakh crores.”
In a major bid to revitalise tourism, Mrs. NirmalaSitharaman proposed eight new museums, which include building infrastructure around five Iconic Sites, besides proposing the renovation of 5 major museums across the length and breadth of India.
Recognising the role of States in the proposed scheme for growth and employment generation, Mrs. Nirmala said, “Growth of tourism directly relates to growth in employment. States have a critical role to play. I expect State Governments expected to develop a road map for certain identified destinations and formulate financial plans during 2021 against which specified grants will be made available to the States in 2020-21”.
Speaking about Inland Waterways, the Finance Minister also announced that the “JalVikasMarg” on National Waterway-1 will be completed and further the 890 Km Dhubri-Sadiya connectivity will be done by 2022”.
The Finance Minister also proposed A National Logistics Policy, to be released soon and this would clarify the roles of the Union Government, State Governments, and key regulators and create a single-window e-logistics market and focus on the generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.
The Union Finance Minister proposed the following projects under the Ministry of Culture:
5 Archaeological sites to be set-up/developed as Iconic Sites with on-site Museums at the following locations: Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu); Maritime Museum to highlight Harappan Age at Lothal, Ahmedabad, by Ministry of Shipping
Indian Museum: Re-curation of the oldest museum in India as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2020. Numismatics and Trade Museum to be located in the historic Old Mint Building; Support for setting up Tribal Museum in Ranchi (Jharkhand); Renovation and re-curation of 4 more museums across India
While presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, the Finance minister said that Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. She said “This will include the development of 2500 Km access control highways, 9000 Km of economic corridors, 2000 Km of coastal and land port roads and 2000 Km of strategic highways. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages to be completed by 2023. Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway also is started. It is proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 Km before 2024.”
Measures for improving roads Infrastructure
While presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, the Finance minister said that Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. She said “This will include the development of 2500 Km access control highways, 9000 Km of economic corridors, 2000 Km of coastal and land port roads and 2000 Km of strategic highways. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages to be completed by 2023. Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway also be started. It is proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 Km before 2024.”
Measures for improving Railways Infrastructure
Enlisting the achievements of Railways within 100 days of assumption of the current government, the Finance minister proposed the following five measures for optimisation of costs; Setting up a large solar power capacity alongside the rail tracks, on the land owned by the railways; Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains would be done through PPP model.
More Tejas type trains will connect iconic tourist destinations; High-speed train between Mumbai to Ahmedabad would be actively pursued; 148 km long Bengaluru Suburban transport project at a cost of Rs.18,600 crore, would have fared on the metro model. Central Government would provide 20% of equity and facilitate external assistance up to 60% of the project cost.
With an aim to build a seamless national cold supply chain for ‘perishables’, The Minister also proposed that the Indian Railways will set up a “Krishi Rail”- through PPP arrangements. There will be refrigerated coaches in the express and Freight trains as well she said.
Tourism industry leaders welcomed the budget announcement with positive notes. According to Mr. MadhavanMenon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. “The Union Budget has seen encouraging focus intended to give impetus to the Travel & Tourism sector with the allocation of Rs.2,500 Cr, equally critical allocation of Rs.1.7 lakh crore towards transportation infrastructure in 2020-21; setting up of 100 additional airports by 2024 and doubling of aircraft as part of the unique Udaan scheme to further boost regional connectivity and ensure affordability; 2000 km of strategic highways and Tejas equivalent trains to connect iconic tourist destinations.
A significant focus of the Budget towards cultural tourism was manifest in the Rs.3,150croreallocation for the ministry of culture and announcements including developing five archaeological sites at iconic sites with on-site museums at Rakhigadi (Haryana), Hastinapur (UP), ShivSagar (Assam), Dholaveera (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (TN); setting up of a Tribal Museum in Ranchi and a Maritime Museum at Lothal, the dockyard of the HarappanCivilisation of 3000 BC-2000 BC.
A far-reaching and long term initiative that I truly welcome is the Finance Minister’s announcement that an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation will be set up with the status of a deemed university, and this is an imperative towards education and skill development of our sector that contributes a significant 10% to India’s GDP; additionally playing a critical force-multiplier role in job creation-accounting for 26.7 million jobs in 2018 and expected to provide employment to nearly 53 million people, directly and indirectly by 2029.
India’s Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) grew by 7.4% to Rs.1.88 lakh crore during 2020-21, and the announcement of specialised grants to states will give much-needed fillip towards tourism-focused initiatives on a pan-India basis.”
Mr. Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO, Avis India opined that “The Union budget takes a calibrated approach to boost the country’s growth by investing in new infrastructure and ensuring clean air and environment for the people. Avis is a strong believer in making available transportation and infrastructure of the future, to build an environment-friendly economy. The allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure and the announcement of setting up 100 new airports under UDAN, is a big booster for travel and tourism in the country. At the same time, allotment of Rs 4,400 crore for clean air policies is a step in the pursuit of sustainable development. The scheme to boost electronic manufacturing in the country will also support the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country. Setting up on-site museums at five archaeological sites will help promote tourism and on road-transport in the country. The vision of the current government is to promote the domestic industry, tourism, and entrepreneurs, and the budget lays down its foundation through focused policies in the same direction.” –
Mr. Indroneel Dutt, CFO, Cleartrip said, “The government has backed its vision to turn India into one of the world’s top tourism hubs by allocating INR 2,500 crore for promoting tourism in general and setting aside a sum of INR 3100 crore for the Culture Ministry to boost regional tourism. What would be wonderful is to have an empowered nodal body comprising of the Govt / OTA / airline, hotel, and other industry representatives with the objective of promoting discoverability, ease of booking, and fulfillment of our cultural, natural, and heritage sites.
Introduction of more Tejas Express type trains and the inauguration of several culturally-significant archaeological sites are other much-needed moves.
We also welcome the Hon’ble FM’s proposal to develop 100 more airports as well as the doubling of the airline fleet by 2024. This calls for skilled manpower development in parallel. The aim to double the fleet to 1200 in the next 3 years will certainly accelerate the passenger growth rate.”
Mr. Indroneel also added that the FM’s proposal to develop 100 more airports as well as the doubling of the airline fleet by 2024. This calls for skilled manpower development in parallel. The aim to double the fleet to 1200 in the next 3 years will certainly accelerate the passenger growth rate.”
Mr. SarbendraSarkar, Founder & Managing Director, Cygnett Hotels and Resorts said, “The government’s push for infrastructure development by building more airports and as also the announcement of new Tejas trains will boost tourism outside the main centers. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on the hotel sector. We are building hotels in many new locations and with this kind of infrastructure development we will surely be a gainer.”
Mr. MohitPoddar, Founder & CEO, Shoes on Loose, also welcomed the budget moves.“We are excited to know that the Government of India’s extensive plans to promote the Travel and Tourism sector in India as the sector significantly contributes to the GDP’s growth. With the government’s concrete plans to launch100 more airports and Five archaeological sites at iconic sites with on-site museums by 2024, we are expecting various new opportunities to open up for travel start-ups as well as for other key stakeholders. With this budget, we are confident to share that the Indian tourism sector is set to witness multi-fold growth, especially with GOI’s substantial investment plans of about Rs.3,150 crore towards the ministry of culture. India and its beauty of highly diversified culture will gain tremendous traction at the domestic level as well as this will drive religious and cultural tourism from different parts of the globe. Also, we expected to see the change in GST especially for the inbound traveller,” he said.