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Sikkim emerges top spender in tourism

Sikkim has emerged as the topper in utilising maximum funds in tourism infrastructure in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2010 19:18 IST

Sikkim has emerged as topper in utilising maximum funds in tourism infrastructure in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

The small hilly state has spent Rs 163.44 crores, which is a maximum utilisation of funds by any state in tourism projects upto September 2009.

Sikkim is followed by Jammu and Kashmir which has spent Rs 141.70 crores for the development of tourism in the state.

"Sikkim is the top state in utilising maximum funds in tourism projects. It has recently undertaken three heliport projects," said Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee.

Beside Sikkim and Kashmir, according to the statistics prepared by the Tourism Ministry, Andhra Pradesh (Rs 129.82 crores), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 113.77 cr) and Karnataka (Rs 90.67 cr) also figure in the top ten states in terms of utilising funds in tourism projects.

Other states in the top ten include Goa (Rs 86.24 cr), West Bengal (Rs 82.90 cr), Rajasthan (Rs 82.28 cr), Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 79.50 cr) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 77.92 cr).

To a question why many states are not been able to spend maximum funds, the tourism secretary said, "We monitor the progress of the projects after giving the initial funds. More funds are released only after the submission of the utilisation certificate by the concerned state."

Admitting that Jharkhand is lagging behind in spending in tourism projects, he said the state is slow in submitting utilisation certificate.

Government had earmarked a total fund of Rs 5,156 crores for tourism in the Eleventh Plan beginning 2007-08.