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May 11, 2002 | 1110 IST
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Govt to aid only sound tourism projects

BS Corporate Bureau

The tourism ministry on Friday said it would be selective in working with state governments for developing tourism and would provide financial assistance to only those states that had sound tourism projects.

Addressing a conference organised by the PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry on 'Integrated Tourism Development: Synergising Northern Region States', Union tourism minister Jagmohan said: "We will help only those states which will help themselves."

Jagmohan, while referring to the issue of financial crunch faced by states for developing tourism, said: "There is no dearth of finance. We only need to make its optimum use."

He said the ministry would work in a focussed direction for developing tourism and related infrastructure and would be providing assistance only to good tourism projects.

Citing an example, he said: "We have asked the Haryana government to develop Kurukshetra as a tourism hub and we are willing to extend assistance for the project." The Centre planned to jointly finance sound projects in various states, he said.

Referring to the new tourism policy, which he said was complete, Jagmohan said: "The 14-principle tourism policy must be analysed by all states."

PHDCCI president Arun Kapur said it was a matter of concern that countries like Malaysia that were considerably less endowed than India, grew at 29.03 per cent in 19999-2000, while India recorded a growth of only 6.45 per cent.

Kapur said integration of northern states could significantly enhance tourism in the region, adding that new circuits in the region should be identified to ensure revisits of tourists.

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