Budget: Special Focus On Lakshadweep!

The diplomatic row with the island nation Maldives over Lakshadweep in January this year has given a fillip for the tourism sector across the country as many travel enthusiasts decided to prefer local destinations from now onwards as part of their holiday itinerary. There is a noticeable surge in travellers to the island territory after this issue.

Now, the government also sent out a strong statement through the interim budget 2024 that it is very determined to promote tourism by placing a special focus on developing potential hotspots all over the country.

In what could be a major shot in the arm for the untapped sector in our country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced that the budget estimate for the tourism industry is pegged by over 2 percent from the last budget. The budget estimate for the financial year (FY) 2024-25 stands at ₹2,449.62 crores. It was ₹2,400 crores in FY 2023-24.

She confirmed that a bunch of projects and activities are in the pipeline to foster tourism during her speech in the ongoing parliamentary budget sessions. The Minister stated that projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and other amenities that promote domestic tourism will be given adequate attention.

She further announced that the Centre will co-ordinate with States and chalk out a holistic framework for ratings of tourism places based on quality of facilities and services. A dedicated plan of action aimed to create more employment opportunities in this sector will be taken up seriously, she added.

She reiterated that Lakshadweep will get undivided attention of the government to improve its tourist infrastructure. She said the Centre will provide interest-free loans to States for financing development in the sector. Sitaraman highlighted that the organization of G20 meetings in 60 places promoted the diversity of our country across the globe. Our country is an attractive tourist destination for business and conference tourism..