Union Minister of Tourism, Culture, and DONER G Kishan Reddy today said the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned 16 projects in the Northeast under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, targeting the development of theme-based tourist circuits while giving special emphasis on developing infrastructure, on-ground capacity, and skills in the region.
Addressing the inaugural session of a two-day conference of tourism and culture ministers of northeastern states here, the Union minister said tourism can be a game-changer that can bring socio-economic change in the nation, especially in the Northeast. Reddy said his ministry has sanctioned projects worth Rs 200 crore for the region.
Talking about the initiatives under DONER Ministry, Reddy said in the 2021-22 budget allocation to the northeastern states is Rs 68,020 crore. He urged all the state governments in the region to submit a viable proposal so that the full amount allocated across various ministries can be successfully utilized.
Union Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Defence Ajay Bhatt, and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were present in the inaugural session of the conference that will deliberate on the development of tourism and issues related to connectivity in the Northeast.
Meghwal said the northeast has all the potential for the development of tourism. Asserting that infrastructure development in the region would enhance tourism, the minister said development in the tourism sector would automatically help the allied sectors.
Addressing the conference, the Chief Minister said a holistic approach was required for the development of tourism and the Northeast has to be promoted as a brand, offering better connectivity and infra-structure facilities.
Sarma said for the promotion of historical, spiritual, and natural places of tourist attractions, the concept of “Brand Northeast” should be popularised. “If all the state work Mc together, the tourism sector can progress well in the next five years,” he said, adding that culture and tourism could play a crucial role in the region’s development.