New Delhi: With the aim of boosting tourism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has formed an inter-ministerial committee comprising senior officials from 14 ministries to put tourism projects on the fast track.
    
"The Prime Minister has formed the high level inter-ministerial committee comprising secretaries of 14 ministries to expedite tourism projects in the country. The Principal Secretary to the PM, Pulok Chatterjee will head the committee," a senior Tourism Ministry official said.
    
Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Chairman Railway Board, Planning Commission Secretary, Rural Development Secretary and the Tourism Secretary are among others in the high level committee.
    
"There are many issues like visa, taxation, infrastructure, rail and air connectivity, roads and hotels which need to be sorted out for facilitating tourism sector," he said.
    
Besides secretaries of Urban Development Ministry, Road and Transport Ministry and Civil Aviation Ministry are also the part of the high level committee.
    
The first meeting of the committee is expected to be convened shortly.
    
Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay had made a presentation to the prime minister in June on the 'Socio Economic Relevance of Tourism and the Way Forward' about the various strategies to be adopted during the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Currently India attracts about 5.58 million foreign tourists which is just 0.6 per cent of the total number of international tourists, the official said.
   
Tourism Ministry is aiming for a growth of upto one percent in the coming years and this will require additional 2, 50,000 rooms and a massive investment, he said.
   
The target will give a boost to the economy, additional room capacity and infrastructure will generate employment in the sector, he said.
   
The Ministry has specifically raised the issue of rationalisation of taxes and making tourism services globally competitive. It has also demanded for grant of infrastructure status to tourism.
   
"There are many such issues which can be tackled at PMO level only. So the committee will coordinate with concerned ministries to promote tourism in the country," the official added.

(Agencies)