Policies, partnerships & promises

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Updated: February 02, 2016 12:43 PM

Most state governments have drafted, redrafted their tourism policy with a hope to make it investor friendly

20160215eh02Most state governments have drafted, redrafted their tourism policy with a hope to make it investor friendly. Though the intent may be noble to work as effective partners, however the ground reality may not be as per what is desired. Seldom we come across a policy that truly sets into action a single window solution or a policy that promises priority subsidised lending or infrastructure status or essentials like electricity at industrial rates. At most forums we constantly hear hospitality experts speak about the demand-supply imbalance and how the country is short of room supply pan India and across categories. An interesting but tricky acronym, which is much used and misused, is PPP – Public Private Partnership – a highlight of most tourism policies.

The recently concluded CII Partnership Summit for the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP), held in Visakhapatnam, promised a real-time tourism friendly policy, with an earnest proposal to meet the requirements of the private sector by the state’s CM. The state has activated tax exceptions especially to waive off the Non Agricultural Land Assessment (NALA) Tax or Land Use Conversion charges as applicable. Incentives have been provisioned towards reimbursement of registration and stamp duty for the first time only, which will be applicable for land bought or taken on lease for tourism infrastructure projects. The government of AP has also promised 100 per cent reimbursement on registration and stamp duty for all tourism infrastructure projects. ITC hotels has also signed an MoU with the AP government to build, run and operate hotels in the state. As a new state in the making, the AP government has promised an active tourism policy to attract investments into the state.

Maharashtra too is looking at PPP to boost the tourism potential of the state. Speaking exclusively to Food & Hospitality World, Swadheen S Kshatriya, chief secretary, Government of Maharashtra said that the state has large land assets for tourism projects. The government is keen to invite the private sector to invest in tourism. Land will be provided by the government and the private sector can develop the same as the state wants to encourage investment in the tourism sector. Madhya Pradesh, too is looking at opening up new destinations for tourism and one amidst them is the Hanumatiya area. The state of Karnataka is all set to announce some investor friendly tourism attractions at the forth coming investor summit in February 2016. If all the intent and promises are rightfully implemented, then the domestic tourism story in India will truly reflect a positive growth story.

Last but not the least, our cover story this issue takes you into the world of luxury and our story in the spotlight section takes you into a kingdom of happiness.

Reema Lokesh
Editor

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