The stakeholders in the tourism business in Himachal Pradesh are expecting special provisions for the state in the upcoming Union Budget, which is to be presented in Parliament on February 1, Wednesday.
The stateholders of the tourism Industry stakeholders in the region said they were hopeful of certain special provisions in the Budget for boosting tourism industries in hill states such as Himachal Pradesh.
Those involved with small business units in the capital, Shimla, had mixed expectations from the Budget, which will be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Local travel agents and hoteliers' said they want special budgetary provisions in the field of tourism, which contributes signifuicantly to the state GDP.
"We have numerous issues with our tourism industry. We are hopeful of special provisions for hill states such as Himachal, especially in the tourism sector. There are no regular flights and also no big airport where large aircraft can land. Both rail and air connectivity need to be boosted," Mohender Seth, president of HP Tourism industry Stakeholders Association, told ANI.
He added that the tourism industry took heavy losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in small cities like Shimla, local issues were also hurting the tourism business.
"We suffered a huge loss due to Covid. In small cities like Shimla, we have local issues that are hitting our business. We demand that the Union government will bring us under a special package to boost tourism. Bharat Bhraman schemes need to be extended in the state," said Seth.
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Travel agents and transporters said they were expecting low-interest rates on loans for tourism business.
"We are hopeful that Union Budget will have some provisions for us. We want special and low-interest rates on loans for tourism business. We had been made promises before but didn't get much from the banks. Post Covid, we are in a revival phase and want more rail and air connectivity in the region. We demand special budgetary provisions in this direction and are hopeful of getting it," said Kedar Dutt, a local travel agent.
Hotel businesses are also looking at a special package to boost religious tourism and sought separate allocations for development of infrastructure.
"We are entirely dependent on nature and are harnessing nature for tourism. Little here is manmade. We want the government to build infrastucture, rail and air connectivity in the region. We hope the Budget will us and our businesses in coming out of the pandemic shocks,' Rajendra Singh, a hotelier, told ANI.
The Budget Session on Wednesday will be held in two parts. It will begin with President Droupadi Murmu's address to the joint session of the two Houses of Parliament.
The Economic Survey will be tabled after the President's address.
The Union Budget 2023-24 may be the last full budget to be presented by the BJP-led central government before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The first part of the session will be held from January 31 and will go on till February 13. It will see debates in both Houses on the 'Motion of Thanks' to the President's address, which will conclude with a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Parliament will reconvene after a recess for parliamentary committees to discuss the demand for grants of various ministries. The second part will begin on March 13 and will continue till April 6.
The Money Bill is passed after a discussion on the demand for grants and it marks the culmination of the budget process.
During the Monsoon Session, nine bills were passed by both Houses of Parliament.
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