- By Ashutosh Shukla

Entrepreneurs investing in the tourism sector will get subsidies of up to Rs 40 crore

Religious circuits, lesser known natural tourism destinations to be developed

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is contemplating developing the state as a prime tourist destination and creating employment opportunities for 10 lakh youths for which an investment of over Rs 20,000 crore is expected in the next five years.

In order to attain the goal, the Government has announced a subsidy of up to Rs 40 crore for investors willing to develop major tourist places in the state as well as lesser known destinations with natural beauty.

The cabinet in its recent meeting approved the new Tourism Policy which would provide lots of relief to the investors  in form of rebates, subsidies and incentives for development of tourist destinations. 

The Yogi Government has taken several initiatives to attract tourists from all over the world in the recent past, the most important of which is preparing a blueprint for developing new tourist destinations along with creating thematic circuits by connecting similar religious, geographical and natural sites. 

The investors will get subsidy

Under the new policy, various types of grants have been announced for the entrepreneurs investing in the state. According to the policy, those investing between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 10 crore will get a rebate of 25 percent, or up to Rs 2 crore. Similarly, entrepreneurs investing between Rs 10 crore and Rs 50 crore will be provided 20 percent subsidy or up to Rs 7.5 crore. 

Similarly entrepreneurs with investment between Rs 50 crore and Rs 200 crore will get subsidy of 15 percent, or up to Rs 20 crore whereas those investing between Rs 200 crore and Rs 500 crore will be given a rebate of 10 percent, or up to Rs 25 crore. Besides, subsidy will be provided at 10 percent or Rs 40 crore, whichever is higher, to premier investors investing capital above Rs 500 crore.

Additional 5% rebate for women and SC-ST investors

An additional 5 percent subsidy will be provided to women and SC and ST entrepreneurs for tourism unit proposals under Focus Tourism Destination (FTO). In addition, eligible tourism units will be provided interest subsidy of 5 percent of the loan amount, or a maximum of Rs 25 lakh per year for a maximum period of 5 years, on bank loan amount of up to Rs 5 crore for setting up tourism units. Registered tourism unit will be eligible for either interest subsidy, or capital subsidy grant.

Hundred percent exemption in stamp duty and registration

In the New Tourism Policy, there is also a provision for 100 percent exemption in stamp duty and registration fee on first purchase, lease, or transfer of land for establishment or expansion of tourism units. Another provision has been made for complete exemption in change of land use and development charges for all new and expanding tourism units. Apart from this, EPF subsidy on employment generation, special incentives for disabled friendly units and information and technology establishment, incentive of up to Rs 50,000 for innovation specific, assistance of up to Rs 10 lakh for research in tourism and hospitality industry would be given. Apart from this, an incentive of up to Rs 5 lakh has been arranged for the conservation, promotion and revival of rare and endangered art, culture and cuisine of the state.

Special incentives for heritage hotels

Many incentives have been given in the policy regarding the heritage unit as well. A subsidy of 25 percent of the capital investment or a maximum of Rs 5 crore will be provided to entrepreneurs operating heritage hotels through conservation, expansion, renovation without changing the basic nature of the unit. There is a provision to give interest subsidy of up to 5 percent for 5 years on a loan of Rs 5 crore. Both capital and interest subsidy will be admissible to heritage units. There is a provision for exemption in stamp duty on the land purchased for the establishment, or expansion of heritage hotel. Besides,  there is a provision to make change of land use necessary for the establishment of heritage hotel free of cost. 

There is also a provision to reimburse 50 percent of the licence fee for bar licence on the premises of heritage hotels in rural areas. Moreover, the State Government will make arrangements for an all-weather road and encroachment-free link road up to the heritage hotels. For uninterrupted power supply, electrical sub-stations, transformers will be se up and attractive signages will be installed.

New policy seeks to develop understanding of tourism in youth

The new policy also aims to develop the understanding, need and importance of tourism and culture among the youth and children. Under this, youth tourism clubs have been identified as a means to develop responsible and sustainable tourism in the country. In addition, awards for the Best Tour Operator, Wellness Centre, Hotel, Heritage Hotel, Best Eco Tourism Operator, Best Eco Resort, Best Homestay and Best Adventure would be given to recognise the exceptional initiatives and quality of service undertaken by various tourism businesses in the state.