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Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of Civil Aviation, has said that the government has taken a number of initiatives to make tourism affordable and accessible to the international traveller. He was speaking at a plenary session on ‘Core Infrastructure for Tourism’ at the Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit organised by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Tourism Finance Corporation of India.
The National Civil Aviation Policy takes an integrated approach to address the problem of air connectivity across regions and states. The government has permitted 100 per cent FDI to attract greenfield and brownfield investment in airports, and enhanced FDI in airlines. The 5:20 rule has been scrapped and base fares are now capped for flights of 1 hour duration. Further, the government is working towards an open sky policy with SAARC, addressing issues related to enhancing skill development and increasing the domestic MRO, said the Minister.
The government is committed to realising the dream of lifting India’s share of tourism from less than 1 per cent at present to at least 2 per cent by 2025 as envisioned by the Prime Minister, stated Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture. Stressing that infrastructure and connectivity are the crucial links for realising India’s inherent tourism potential, he said that the government is working towards addressing the requirements of tourist infrastructure in areas such as roads, rail, waterways, and civil aviation, among others. The minister further stated that the government has liberalised the policy environment including allowing 100 per cent FDI in hotels, railways, etc., and invited the private sector to address the gaps.
Sanjay Mitra, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, dwelt on issues such as development of roads and infrastructure for variegated tourist circuits and invited the private sector to invest in tourist infrastructure in a big way.