“From Extraction to Attraction”: Jharkhand launches new tourism policy



From fetch to attraction, Jharkhand Tourism Policy 2021 envisions a new outlook for the state. Launching the policy on Saturday, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said some of the state government’s main focus areas would be jobs, economic growth, sustainable development and preservation of art, culture and heritage.

“Jharkhand has been considered a reservoir of minerals since the days of British rule. It was a center of mineral extraction. Yet the backwardness of the state’s tribal people comes as no surprise to anyone. We are now moving from extraction to attraction through this policy,” Soren said.

Other areas addressed in the new policy include religious, ecological, cultural, rural, adventure, wellness and mining tourism. It also aims to establish tourism economic zones and a tourism development council, in addition to strengthening the Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation.

Highlighting the scope of ecotourism, Jharkhand’s Development Commissioner Arun Kumar Singh said, “People can just go and relax in the forests. Jharkhand has world class infrastructure, with two airports at Dhanbad and Deoghar and no safety or security concerns.

A key strategy highlighted in the new policy is to conduct effective public awareness campaigns, especially among tribal people, organize buyer-seller meetings to effectively market tourism products, and train all stakeholders on how to market tourism products. tourism promotion, marketing and services related to tourism.


Investment tracks

Public-private partnerships (PPP) in the tourism industry should be encouraged through Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) and Built-Lease-Transfer (BLT) modes. Foreign investment and technological collaboration from foreign investors will also be introduced to boost the sector.

The government aims to actively encourage Indian and foreign private investment and participation in tourism infrastructure projects. It would also be willing to participate in joint ventures for such infrastructure development projects.

The new tourism policy also includes strategic joint ventures with private tour operators for the establishment of tourist packages and services, the modernization of tourist information centers and the carrying out of a detailed assessment of the tourist potential of each district.

After the unveiling of the new policy, a teaser of the promotional series “Postcards from Jharkhand”, highlighting the beauty and culture of Jharkhand, was also unveiled. The government of Jharkhand produced the series in collaboration with National Geographic Channel.

“Jharkhand is a hidden treasure of nature, an example of culture and sustainable lifestyle. Its culture and scenic beauty have enormous untapped potential to attract tourists. These can help the state become a must-visit destination,” Soren said.

The state is also planning to introduce the Jharkhand Tourism Home Stay Scheme, a guesthouse scheme of the state’s Department of Tourism, modeled after ‘Incredible India’.


Improve connectivity

The policy proposes to improve connectivity in the state through the liberal granting of road licenses to tour operators and aggregators. The state government will also persuade the Union Ministry of Railways to expand the railway network in the state.

It also offered relief to airlines, ensuring that existing nominal fees/charges to encourage airlines to use state-owned landing facilities will not be increased during this policy period.


Benefits offered

Under this policy, the government will provide a one stop shop system and capital investment grant of 20-25% (up to Rs 10 crore) and 75% refund of net GST paid for a period of five years, to those who invest in the state’s tourism sector.

Other incentives include no levy of holding tax for five years, reimbursement of electricity duty and stamp duty, and a captive power generation subsidy of 30% up to Rs 5 lakh, among others. The tax incentives also include a 50% interest subsidy (up to Rs 20 lakh) for five years.

The government also makes special provisions for women, ex-military personnel, persons with disabilities, and persons from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

Speaking about the benefits offered, Soren said, “We have been monitoring mineral wealth and mining for a long time. Even today, many states shine due to the mineral wealth of Jharkhand, but Jharkhand is still plagued with various problems. That is why we have formulated this policy to accelerate economic development in rural areas.

Speaking about the effect of Covid-19 on the tourism industry, the CM said: “Many people have suffered losses during the coronavirus pandemic, especially those associated with the tourism industry. This new policy will help them.

Development Commissioner Singh said, “The uncharted state of Jharkhand, with exclusive availability of uranium, gold, bauxite and coal mines, has enormous potential to be tapped and utilized for the development of ‘State.


Protection of tourists

A tourist-friendly security force will be set up involving former military personnel, who will be trained to avoid any inconvenience to tourists. To prevent the exploitation of tourists by various service providers, legislation to facilitate tourist trade has also been enacted by the government.

The policy will remain in force for a period of five years from its effective date or until a new or revised policy is declared.

Keith P. Plain