Budget 2021

Budget 2020 | Funding for museums to promote tourism

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha, in New Delhi, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI


In her Budget speech on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a series of steps to set up and renovate museums to promote tourism. As part of this, she announced an allocation of ₹3,150 crore to the Ministry of Culture for the maritime museum coming up at Lothal in Gujarat.

“Our government proposes to establish an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation under the Ministry of Culture; it shall have the status of a deemed University to start with. Acquisition of knowledge in disciplines such as museology and archaeology are essential for collecting and analysing scientific evidence of such findings and for [their] dissemination through high quality museums,” Ms. Sitharaman said in her Budget speech, adding that, currently, the lack of trained manpower is a handicap for both these disciplines. “This also affects tourism,” she said.

Five sites

Ms. Sitharaman said five archaeological sites would be developed as iconic sites with on-site Museums. They are: Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh) Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu).

Watch | Highlights of Union Budget 2020-21

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced re-curation of the Indian Museum in Kolkata, which is the oldest in the country. Towards this, Ms. Sitharaman said, in the historic Old Mint building in Kolkata, a museum on Numismatics and Trade will also be located. “Four more museums from across the country shall be taken up for renovation and re-curation so that a world class experience can be offered to visitors,” she said, also announcing government support for the setting up of a tribal museum in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

States’ roadmap

Stating that growth of tourism directly relates to growth and employment, Ms. Sitharaman allocated ₹2,500 crore for 2020-21 for tourism promotion. She further added, “I expect the State governments to develop a roadmap for certain identified destinations and formulate financial plans during 2021 against which specified grants will be made available to the States in 2020-21.”

In this direction, she said that India has moved up from rank 65 in 2014 to 34 in 2019 in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitive Index. Foreign exchange earnings grew 7.4% to ₹1.88 lakh crore for the period January to November 2019, from ₹1.75 lakh crore, she added.

Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone for the maritime museum at Lothal in March last year. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Shipping through its Sagarmala programme, with the involvement of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Indian Navy, the Gujarat State government, and other stakeholders.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 4:58:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/budget-2020-funding-for-museums-to-promote-tourism/article30714465.ece

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