The Himachal Pradesh government has approved an upcoming tourism policy that is aimed at holistic development of tourism in the state. ‘Capital Investment Subsidy’ has been approved by the state cabinet for tourism projects in underdeveloped areas. Access to roads and water supply to tourism units has also been granted. Further, the project will get a 5% capital subsidy under this category. 428 gram panchayats of 10 districts will be included under the development projects for source sustainability, reports the Hindustan Times.
To ensure accessibility to new tourism projects that did not have road connectivity or drinking water supply, the government has proposed a 15% subsidy. The chief secretary of Himachal Pradesh, Srikant Baldi said, “There is going to be a subsidy component for the adventure tourism project of all kinds, and those setting up tents will be encouraged with additional 10% incentives on investments.”
Focus of the new policy
The new policy will focus on ecotourism, agro organic tourism, snow tourism, lake tourism, adventure tourism, pilgrimage tourism, cultural and heritage tourism, health and wellness tourism, film and MICE tourism. The main objectives of the policy are:
- promote tourism diversification through theme-based development
- to ensure that sustainable tourism primarily benefits host communities
- to build capacity and develop quality human resource for the tourism industry
- to provide safe, secure and unique ‘tourism for all’
- to create an enabling environment for investments for sustainable tourism.
The project has been sponsored by the department of economic affairs and largely aims at sustainable development of natural resources available in forest areas adjoining agriculture land of panchayats. Additionally, another draft policy was approved for buying back non-recyclable plastic waste and various kinds of single-use plastics including bags.
The policy has proposed a minimum support price of ₹75 per kg to be paid to ragpickers and individuals from households for collecting and depositing the plastic waste to urban local bodies to ensure cleanliness.