TAMIL NADU

Lakshminarayanan announces sops to promote tourism

Pondicherry April 9. The Pondicherry Education and Tourism Minister, K Lakshmianrayanan today announced that a concession at 50 per cent or Rs.20,000 (whichever is less) would be available in the development charges to be paid by entrepreneurs promoting tourism activities and projects towards the fees for approval of their projects by the Planning Authority.

Replying to members views expressed on the department of tourism among other wings of the government during a debate on demands for grants from the Government, Mr. Lakshminarayanan also announced that 25 per cent of the stamp duty subject to a maximum limit of Rs.1 lakh would also be available under reimbursement programme of the Department of Tourism towards lease or sale deeds executed for land taken for tourism projects. The reimbursement would be available after five years of commencement of the activities.

The PIPDIC (an Industrial development corporation of Pondicherry Government) would also offer loans at reduced interest rates to the entrepreneurs promoting tourism related projects here.

A 25 per cent reimbursement in the payment of house tax for the listed heritage buildings would also be available from the department. Best maintained heritage buildings (listed by the department) would also be given under three categories of prizes ranging between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 10,000.

The Minister said that the turnover of the Pondicherry Tourism and Transport Development Corporation had risen from Rs. 10.46 crores in 2001-2002 to Rs.11.75 crores in the subsequent year .

Water sports would be developed in the outlying regions of Pondicherry. The Government staff would be extended the facility of Leave Travel Concession through the Corporation.

The Tourism Minister said that the Pondicherry Administration initiated steps to associate the foreign assistance to develop the Arikamedu site. The Centre had sanctioned Rs. 60 lakhs for acquisition of the Arikamedu site.

He referred to the recent visits of Ambassadors of Italy and a few other countries with whom tourism development programmes were discussed. Collaborative efforts with France were also proposed so that the tourism potential in Pondicherry would be fully tapped.

Mr. Lakshminarayanan who is also in charge of the Fire Services department said that steps were taken to procure wireless sets for the fire service personnel and a sum of Rs. 6.96 lakhs had been sanctioned for equipment.

A training school would be started to offer refresher course to the personnel.

Each of the fire service personnel would be paid an yearly incentive of Rs. 2500 as had been contemplated for police personnel, he said.