In his maiden Budget speech in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India's rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for the development of tourism and job creation as an industry.
The General Budget 2014-15 proposes to create five tourist circuits around specific themes for which a sum of Rs 500 crore has been set aside in the current financial year.
Jaitley said Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi Buddhist circuit would also be developed with world class tourist amenities to attract tourists from all over the world.
The Finance Minister also announced the launching of National Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for conserving and preserving the heritage characters of these cities.
The programme will be launched in cities such as Mathura, Amritsar, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani, and Ajmer with a provision of Rs 200 crore in the current Budget. The project will work through a partnership of Government, Academic Institutions and local community combining affordable technologies.
A National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) with an outlay of Rs 100 crore is also proposed to be launched in this financial year.
Jaitley has set aside a sum of Rs 100 crore for the preservation of archaeological sites.
Highlighting the importance of Goa emerging as a major international convention centre, the Finance Minister said there is a need to develop world class convention facilities in the state.
Government will fully support this initiative to develop the facilities in PPP mode through VGF scheme, the Finance Minister added.


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