Published on : Wednesday, March 4, 2020
A parliamentary standing committee has asked the Union finance ministry to provide higher budgetary allocations to the Union tourism ministry, observing that the funds earmarked for fiscal 2020-21 are “low” and it may jeopardise the targeted tourism outcomes.”
The panel in its report, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, noted that fewer allocations as compared to the projected demand of the ministry was not “unique” to the financial year 2020-21.
While the finance ministry has allocated just Rs 2499.83 crore to the ministry as against its projected demand of Rs 2647.25 crore for 2020-21, it provided Rs 2150 crore and Rs 2189.22 crore to the ministry in the budgetary estimates for 2018-19 and 2019-20 against the projected demands of Rs 4320.42 crore and Rs 4612.18 crore for the respective fiscal.
The budgetary allocations for the ministry were further reduced to Rs 2113.48 crore and Rs 1416 crore at the stage of revised estimates for the fiscal 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.
It advised the government to enumerate “a fiscal roadmap” for generating and allocating more financial resource for tourism “so that the full potential of a vibrant sector could be tapped,” noting with dismay that India’s total share in international tourist arrivals remains a modest 1.24 per cent against the target of three per cent despite its unique endowments of biodiversity and country’s rich culture and heritage.
The parliamentary panel also rapped the tourism ministry, taking note of the mismatch between the projected demand for funds made by it and the actual allocations that came to its kitty for the fiscals 2018-19 and 2019-20.