National Tourism Policy:
Parliamentary committees have concluded that drafting a National Tourism Policy will not lead to the development of the tourism industry in the country.
- The committee has suggested fast-tracking the creation of a National Tourism Council on the lines of the GST council to directly make recommendations to the Central and State governments on various issues of the tourism sector and its stakeholders.
Concerns raised by the Committee:
- The committee sought to know the steps taken by the Tourism Ministry regarding its earlier recommendation of including tourism in the concurrent list.
- The committee is of the view that inclusion of tourism in the concurrent list will help in simplifying the issues of the pandemic-hit Indian tourism sector since tourism is a multi-sectoral activity.
- It also sought to know why some 20 States were yet to accord industry status to hospitality projects and asked the Ministry whether anything in this regard has been conveyed by these States to the Centre.
- As of now eight States (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand) have accorded industry status to hospitality projects.
- It expressed concern that in projects sanctioned five years ago or before 2017-18, the progress rates achieved have been less than expected.
- Projects Sanctioned: ‘Development at Hazratbal’ in Jammu and Kashmir and ‘Infrastructure Development at Puri, Shree Jagannath Dham – Ramachandi- Prachi River front at Deuli under Mega Circuit’ in Odisha.
- The committee is of the view that projects taking longer than five years may incur high cost and schedule or time overruns, which will put extra financial burden and resource crunch on the Ministry and implementing agencies involved.