In a bid to enhance domestic tourism, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to revitalize tourism infrastructure and amenities on Indian Islands, including Lakshadweep. Presenting the interim budget 2024, Sitharaman highlighted the success of hosting G20 meetings in sixty locations, showcasing India’s diversity to a global audience.
“To address the growing interest in domestic tourism, projects focusing on port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and amenities will be initiated on our islands, including Lakshadweep. This initiative aims to not only promote tourism but also generate employment oppourtunities,” said Sitharaman.
The move follows a recent campaign to promote Lakshadweep and other lesser-known islands, spurred by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in January. Modi shared pictures showcasing the ‘stunning beauty’ of the islands, emphasizing the need to explore and appreciate the country’s hidden gems.
Encouraging states to take up comprehensive developments of iconic tourists’ centers, Sitharaman outlined plans for branding and marketing at a global scale. States will be incentivized with long term interest free loans for financing such developments on a matching basis.
Sitharaman acknowledged the success of G20 meetings in various locations, underscoring India’s economic strength as an attractive destination for business and conference tourism. She noted that middle class’s aspirations for travel and exploration, including spiritual tourism, present significant oppourtunities for local entrepreneurship.
In a relief to citizens, Sitharaman affirmed that there will be no charges in tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties. The Finance Minister concluded her budget presentation with a positive outlook, emphasizing the government’s commitment to fostering inclusive growth and development.
The interim Budget 2024 is anticipated to undergo thorough scrutiny and debates in the coming days in the Parliament, as its potential impact on the nation’s economic sector.