CAG slams tourism plan

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has slammed the state government for its lack of long-term perspective plan for development of tourism in the state.

By Subrat Das in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 25.08.15
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Bhubaneswar, Aug. 24: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has slammed the state government for its lack of long-term perspective plan for development of tourism in the state.

The CAG report on the state public sector undertakings for 2013-14, which was tabled in the Assembly today, observed that the role of the state-run Odisha Tourism Development Corporation was not spelt out in the tourism policies formulated from time to time.

The state tourism policies were formulated twice in February 1998 and April 2013. Their main objectives included optimum harnessing of resources to draw tourists, development of tourism related industries, generating job opportunities and involving private sectors, autonomous bodies and local authorities by offering them fiscal incentives and creation of land bank.

This discrepancy was pointed out in the exit conference and the government had admitted to it. It had stated that the point would be taken care of during revision of the tourism policy.

The CAG report noted that neither the state government nor the OTDC prepared any long-term perspective plan to develop tourism, as mandated in the 1997 policy and corporate governance manual of the government published in November 2009.

In October 2004, the government had stated that perspective plan would be prepared on finalisation of the OTDC's business plan based on the consultant's report."However, the draft report submitted by the consultant was not placed before the meeting of the board of directors in October 2014," the CAG report states.

The report also said that though the state government identified and recognised 336 tourist centres in 30 districts by March 2014, no master plan was prepared for them. Besides, no investment was made in 92 tourist centres in 17 districts since their identification.

Similarly, no land bank was created, as envisaged under the Industrial Policy Resolution of 2001 and 2007, resulting in delay in execution of many tourism projects.

Though the state government made a budgetary provision of Rs 2 crore during 2011-14, of which Rs 1.5 crore was placed with the OTDC for providing incentives, nothing was given to any tourism unit.