The Madhya Pradesh government unveiled its new tourism policy on Friday, allowing private companies to invest in the sector across the state unlike in the past when investment was allowed only in 13 special tourism zones.
Under the new policy, MP state Tourism Development Corporation can also, if the need arises, hand over its units to private companies for their management on a managerial agreement or on lease.
The new policy, which was approved in the first ever meeting of the state tourism cabinet at matralaya here, has expanded the earlier list to 18 categories, including Ayurvedic and yoga centres, water sports , film studios, health farm in which private investors can invest.
The other categories that will be treated at tourism projects include hotels, health farm/resort/health and wellness resort, camping site and fixed tenting units, motel and wayside amenities, heritage hotel, convention centre, museum, theme parks , aquarium, water parks, ropeway and amusement parks.
Minister of state for tourism Surendra Patwa made the announcements at press conference after the tourism cabinet meet. He said the new tourism policy would remain in force for five years and will be notified soon.
Patwa said under the new policy, for minimum investments between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 20 crore, a subsidy will be provided between 15 to 40 percent. He said there would be a ceiling on the maximum subsidy on the projects ranging between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 10 crore.
“Land will be made available to the private investors at a reserve price of Rs 10 lakh per hectare in the urban areas and Rs 5 lakh per hectare in rural areas. The state properties will be offered on lease for 30 and 90 years,” he said.
Patwa said when the state cabinet met in February at Hanumantiya island (located in reservoir of Indira Sagar dam built on Narmada river), it was decided that there would be a separate cabinet for the tourism related issues.
“Today, the tourism cabinet met for the first time under the chairmanship of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” he said.
He said it was also decided that tourism department will provide license for tourism-related projects in and around water bodies like starting a cruise, house boat, motor boat and water sports activities. “For promoting eco and adventure tourism, tourism activities like camping, trekking, angling, elephant safari, cycle safari and so on would be carried out in the notified areas of the state’s forest area under MP Forest (Entertainment and wildlife experience) Rules 2015,” he said.
The tourism minister said district promotion councils, which had been set up in 19 districts, would be set up in the rest of the 51 districts. “For implementation of the new tourism policy, an empowered committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary will be constituted”, he said
He said the cabinet also approved 106 posts for state institute of hospitality management and food craft institute.
Government land given on lease for tourism projects will be exempted from paying stamp duty, registration charges
Tourism projects will be allotted land in industrial areas, industrial parks, industrial city, IT Parks on industrial rates
Wayside amenities will be developed on national/state highways and major roads after at every 40 to 50 km through Brownfield, Greenfield and franchise model
MP state Tourism Development Corporation will function as the nodal agency
The tourism department will coordinate with other departments to obtain legal mandatory permissions needed for producers for film tourism.