New tourism policy holds promise for private investors

Published: 16th March 2013 11:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2013 11:42 AM   |  A+A-

The new tourism policy of the State Government, which has been announced after a gap of 16 years, promises massive fiscal incentives to draw private investment.

Aiming at promotion of sustainable tourism, the Odisha Tourism Policy, 2013 looks to bridge the infrastructure and social gaps. The policy divides the State into three different zones. Zone A comprises the municipal corporation area of Bhubaneswar, while Zone B includes rest of the State except KBK, Kandhamal and Gajapati districts. The Zone C comprises KBK, Kandhamal and Gajapati where tribal and eco-tourism will find a special place.

To promote infrastructure, the policy offers land for projects at the rate offered under the Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) which means the Government will be able to allot land either through auction or any other mode for specific tourism destinations and projects. It also offers 50 per cent concession on stamp duty for purchase of land.

With an eye firmly on private investment, the new policy offers heavy subsidy on capital investment in the identified zones. In Bhubaneswar, the policy offers 20 per cent subsidy on investment upto Rs  20 crore with a ceiling of Rs 20 lakh. In Zone B, it promises 25 per cent subsidy with a ceiling of Rs  25 lakh. In the KBK, Kandhamal and Gajapati, 30 per cent subsidy on capital investment is offered with a ceiling of Rs 30 lakh.

For investment above Rs 20 crore, the incentive jumps. It offers a subsidy of 25 per cent with a ceiling of Rs 30 lakh in Zone A, 30 per cent with ceiling of Rs 35 lakh in Zone B and 35 per cent with a ceiling of Rs 40 lakh in Zone C, says the policy document which was ratified by the State Cabinet on Thursday. The policy also offers a varied rate of interest subsidy.

The policy, which aims at putting Odisha on the international tourist map, focuses on employment generation and promotion of small and medium enterprises. It targets a footfall of 28 million domestic visitors and four lakh foreign tourists by 2020.

The new policy, which offers exemption on VAT, road tax and entertainment taxes, says that the State Government will create a Land Bank for projects and put in place a single window system for clearance.

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