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Uttarakhand govt gives industry status to tourism

Government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said the tourism sector would get the concessions and benefits extended to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

dehradun Updated: May 17, 2018 21:17 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Tourism,Industry status
Chardham Yatra, an annual pilgrimage, reportedly attracts around 2 crore visitors to Uttarakhand. (HT File Photo)

The Uttarakhand cabinet decided on Wednesday to give industry status to tourism, considered a mainstay of the state economy.

Government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said the tourism sector would get the concessions and benefits extended to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“The cabinet has also decided to bring Ayush and wellness centres under the mega industries investment policy. The concessions in bank loans and state GST will now be applicable to tourism-related products,” he said.

Tourism is a thrust area of Uttarakhand; the Chardham Yatra, an annual pilgrimage, reportedly attracts around 2 crore of visitors to the state. According to a report of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), 2.25 crore domestic and 1.1 lakh foreign tourists visited the state in 2015 when the state was recovering from the 2013 deluge that devastated the Kedarnath valley.

The state has witnessed investments worth Rs 35,000 crore in industries since 2003 when industrial estates were set up in Dehradun, Haridwar, Pantnagar, Rudrapur and Sitarganj by the State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (SIIDCUL).

“Uttarakhand is touted as a tourism state and this step (industry status) will go a long way in increasing revenue from tourism,” said Pankaj Gupta, the president of the Industries Association of Uttarakhand.

He, however, pointed out,” The tourism industry will only get the benefits of the schemes being operated by the state government and not that of the Centre as the union government has not given industry status to tourism.”

Deputy director, industries, SC Nautiyal said, “The government move will lead to a synergy between the two important domains (tourism and industry) that are important for the growth of the state. Concessions on loans, GST and electricity given to entrepreneurs will become applicable to the tourism sector.”

First Published: May 17, 2018 21:17 IST