NEW DELHI: It is just not the government's business to tell the people what they should eat or drink because it would hurt the tourism industry, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Friday, amid alcohol prohibition and beef ban diktats in the country.
In an address to the World Economic Forum, Kant also questioned how can tourists visiting India chill out if they are barred from making their eating and drinking choices.
"Indian states can't get into what a tourist wants to eat and drink. Just not possible. What he wants to eat and drink is an individual's business and not the state's business," he said.
The remarks come a month after Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons advised foreigners visiting the country that they should eat beef at home and then come to India.
Kant was asked about his views on states banning beef and alcohol with Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland and Manipur already dry states and Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Daman announcing plans to ban liquor sales.
"I have been a long term believer on couple of things. Tourism is essentially civilisational in character, you can't have garbage and filth and say that we have great heritage sites. So, India must focus on cleanliness. It is number one. Number-2 its about seamless experience.
"I have said it all the time that for a tourist...its about creating experiences.
"In the evening he wants to relax and he wants to chill out and therefore you need to create that evening experience for (him) in terms of Indian culture."