GUWAHATI: In a move to infuse freshness in the COVID 19 hit tourism industry of Assam, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced ‘Paryatan Sanjeevani Scheme’, a scheme under which loan, amounting from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh would be given to interested entrepreneurs.
Announcing this at a tourism conclave organised by the government of Assam in association with Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited at Assam Administrative Staff College here on Friday, Sonowal said that the scheme has been conceived of to lend empowerment to the entrepreneurs associated with the tourism of the state so that the sector gets a fresh lease of life amid COVID 19 pandemic.
It may be noted that as a part of the scheme loan would be given for a period of five years and a moratorium period of one year would be given to the loanee. The first year’s interest of the loan amount would be paid by the government.
Sonowal also inaugurated another scheme named ‘Paryatan Sarathi’ which will be a preloaded programme with all information about Assam tourism, facilities for booking, tour packages, hotel, sightseeing etc along with an online payment gateway for the tourism business.
He said that tourism has been playing a vital role in strengthening the economic foundation of various countries across the globe. Even in Assam tourism as an industry has immense potential. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has announced ‘Act East Policy’, Sonowal said that the policy would open new vistas for the development of tourism along with other sectors in the state as well as in the region.
Speaking on the COVID 19 pandemic which has had its cascading effect on the lives and economy of the state, Sonowal said that for overcoming the onslaught of the pandemic, one needs to venture into his or her endeavor with wisdom and experience. He also said that in spite of the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic, collective efforts are required to bail out the tourism industry.
He also stressed on making the tourism sector thriving on all seasons of the year, development of tourism based on bamboo, and highlighting the teachings of the great men of the state among the tourists to emphasize the potential of heritage and spiritual tourism of the state.
Synchronizing with the programme, awards and commendations were presented to the winners participated in competitions held on Awesome Assam. Several stakeholders associated with Tourism, Forest, Archaeology departments were also present on the occasion.
Sonowal said that the state government in the association with Oil India Limited has taken steps for transforming Maguri and Motapungbeel of Bagjan into tourist attractions taking into consideration their picturesque potential and presence of a large number of migratory birds. Moreover, steps will also be taken along with OIL to transform Barekuri-Bagjan-Rangagora into tourist destinations. He also said that the students getting formal education on tourism in different institutions of the state would have to take a proactive role in the promotion of tourism in the state.