Economy is booming & Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) are playing an important part in driving country’s economic growth. With program like ‘Make in India’ full swing, India is all set to become the most preferred manufacturing hub in the world. And there also, PSUs are having importance for setting up manufacturing units all across India. On the other hand, PSUs are use technology effectively to bring accountability, transparency in their working operations as well as helping the organizations to grow rapidly.
Public Sector Units (PSU’s) will be pushing the growth engine of the country, be it through land or the cash reserves kept as bank deposits by these enterprises. While the government has initiated a slew of measures to push growth including reforms for ease of doing business, announcing the ‘Make in India’ campaign to boost the manufacturing sector, governance and fiscal prudence, what will ultimately push the growth cycle is the funds that need to flow in the economy. And the PSU’s seem to be a perfect bet for the government to facilitate for these funds.
Public Sector Undertakings constitute an important segment of the Indian economy. Their contribution to the national economy is phenomenal. The opening of Indian economy has radically transformed the market dynamics in India with private sector playing a greater role in shaping the industrial landscape. As a consequence, the PSEs have been exposed to competition from domestic as well as multi-national corporations.
The Government owned enterprise Rail India Technical and Economic Services Ltd (RITES) has launched its Initial Public Offering today. By this move, the Government wants to get rid of its major stake in this PSU. The aim is to raise more than g Rs 460 crore by selling 2.52 crore shares at Rs 180-185 per share in the three-day offer. By this, the Government's stake will be reduced by 12.6 percent. The shares will be listed on on BSE and NSE. The money raised will go to the Government of India only. The prime objectives of carrying out the offer is to disinvest about 2.4 crore equity shares that is held by the government, which is equals to 12 percent of the paid up share capital as part of the net offer, and 12 lakh shares that will be kept aside for employee reservation. Why you should invest? RITES is a profitable Miniratna PSU which is showing constant growth since the last five years. It has orders worth Rs 4,800 crore that gives revenue visibility for the next two-three years, reasonably good financial performance. The company has also undertaken projects in 55 countries, including in the Asian, African, Latin American, and the Middle East regions. It has a strong client base and mainly caters to the Indian Railways. The high investment budget of the railways works in favour of the company. In the past four years ending FY17, the company’s revenues have grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 per cent to Rs 1,353 crore. Also, its net profit has grown at a CAGR of 11 per cent to Rs 362 crore in FY17. […]
State-owned construction firm NBCC will invest more than Rs 500 crore in two loss making PSUs and will thereby acquire majority stake in both the public sector firms. "We are gradually moving towards consolidation in the construction business. As a part of the strategy, we acquired loss making HSCL. We will be completing the acquisition of two more PSUs by the second quarter of this fiscal," said company's Chairman-cum-Managing Director Anoop Kumar Mittal. He added that the company will invest around Rs 500 crore from internal accruals to acquire the other two loss-making firms. Lat year, NBCC has acquired 5q per cent stake in Hindustan Steel Works Construction (HSCL), also a public sector company under the steel ministry, with an investment of Rs 35.70 crore. "Like HSCL, these two firms are also engaged in the construction business and therefore their acquisition will be strategic. Also, both these firms have a cumulative order book of around Rs 15,000 crore. So with the acquisition, these orders will be a part of our order book," Mittal added. Currently, the company's order book stands at around Rs 80,000 crore and it hopes to add around Rs 20,000 crore. NBCC is also planning to utilise lands of sick public sector undertaking (PSU) or loss making PSUs. "We have quite a few land parcels and we are working on 4-5 of those. We plan to develop large townships, or mixed-used developments, or use it for creating affordable housing or high-end luxury residential with commercial space, among others. By the end of the calendar year, we will be finalising two projects with one in the NCR and the other either in Hyderabad or Kolkata," Mittal said. […]
To increase autonomy, reduce political interference, the Central Government is laying a roadmap to lower its stake in all Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) to 49 per cent in the next three years. PSUs dealing in strategic importance sectors such as defence and oil will be kept out of this gamut. PSUs like Steel Authority of India, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, among others will be the first ones where the Government will let go off its majority stake. NITI Aayog is in the process of identifying such government run companies. Currently, the Government holds more than 51 per cent stake in over 250 CPSEs. In seven other CPSEs such as HLL Lifecare and Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, the government is in the process of appointing advisors to lay out a roadmap for disinvestment. […]
Public Sector Undertaking Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has recorded a net profit of Rs 816 crore in the last quarter of financial year 2017-18. This comes after making a provision of Rs.582 Crore towards enhanced gratuity recently approved by Government of India. All the five integrated steel plants of the Company have also recorded individual profits in Q4 FY18. SAIL’s performance on the production front recorded highest ever quarterly crude steel production of around 4.0 MT in Q4 FY18 with a growth of 6% over CPLY. "The effect of synergised team work across SAIL, integration of every process and continual focus to service the customers with world class products is finally beginning to show. SAIL, which has almost finished its modernisation and expansion, is ready with an array of value added products which are tailored for today’s requirements. The domestic market is showing very good growth signs, which is backed up strongly by the Government’s initiative to enhance domestic steel consumption. The ongoing and upcoming large infrastructure projects offer large scope for steel consumption,” said P K Singh, Chairman, SAIL. […]
NMDC Ltd, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Steel, has won the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Award 2018 in the Corporate Social Responsibility category. The award was received by N Baijendra Kumar, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, and Sandeep Tula, Director (Personnel), NMDC Ltd, in London. NMDC was competing with 12 shortlisted companies from across the world. This is the first time that an Indian company has bagged the award. S&P Global Platts is the leading independent provider of information, benchmark prices and analytics for the energy and commodities markets for the past 100 years. The S&P Global Platts Global Metals Award recognises top performers, industry leaders and innovators. NMDC is the largest iron ore mining company in India with iron ore production of around 35 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). With a domestic market share of about 25 per cent (non-captive category), the PSU also extracts diamonds from its mine in Panna, which is the only mechanised diamond mine in Asia. NMDC’s CSR expenditure has increased from Rs 86 crore ($13.25 million) in 2011-12 to an average of Rs 190 crore ($30 million) in the last three years. N. Baijendra Kumar said, “NMDC CSR initiatives adopt a flexible, inclusive, non-perspective, process-oriented approach to enable stakeholders to determine the scope of our programmes and activities. NMDC has shown that it is possible to be profitable, while being socially and environmentally responsible”. […]
The tourism landscape in Rajasthan is flourishing and with the launch of new media campaign “Jane Kya Dikh Jaye” many more domestic tourists are visiting Rajasthan to explore the lesser known destinations, says Pradeep Kumar Borar, Special Secretary and Director, Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN). Please tell us a bit about your marketing and promotion focus plan for 2018-19. Our marketing strategy is aimed at promoting Rajasthan’s offering beyond what is already known through media and influencers, digital and social media campaigns, and on-ground activation. The coordinated effort will bring to life different and new experiences in Rajasthan from the eyes of various travellers and explorers enchanted by Rajasthan. Further, in our bid to make Rajasthan a favoured destination for domestic and international travellers, the government, in recent years, has increased the tourism budget. Also, with the launch of new media campaign “Jane Kya Dikh Jaye” many more domestic tourists are coming to Rajasthan to explore the lesser-known destinations and experiences such as Garadia Mahadev Temple in Kota, Khumbhalgarh or Rajsamand that we have to offer. We have seen an increase and it’s also visible, at our music and cultural festivals like the Pushkar Fair, Magnetic Fields Music Fest, Jaipur Lit Fest, Jodhpur Riff Festival, and Udaipur World Music Festival. The new destinations which are being promoted and highlighted are Neelkanth in Alwar, Wax Museum Udaipur, Naval Mahal of Udaipur, Sawai Madhopur Shilpgram, Harsha Mata Temple, Chand Baori (Stepwell) - Abhaneri in Dausa, Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, Wax Museum Jaipur, Rajmandir Cinema Hall in Jaipur and lesser-known destinations in Rajasthan circuits like Shekhawati (Jhunjunu-Churu-Sikar) as well as Hadoti (Bundi-Kota-Jhalawar) etc. What are the important trade fairs, the department is going to be part of for keeping the State tourism sector updated with the best of globally-followed industry practices? This year the department is participating in domestic travel marts like Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB), India International Travel Exhibition (IITE), India Travel Mart (ITM), India International Travel Mart (IITM), Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF), India International Travel & Tourism fair (IITT), SATTE ( South Asia’s leading travel show), India International Trade Fair (IITF) events happening in many cities and also in the international marts such as IFTMTopResa (Paris), Mountain Echo – Literary Festival, ITB Asia Singapore (Internationale Tourismus-Börse, the world’s largest tourism trade fair), World Travel Market (WTM) London, FITUR Madrid (short for: Feria Internacional de Turismo, in Spanish or International Tourism Trade Fair, in English) and ITB Berlin. Please share with us your roadmap for the betterment of tourism sector of the state in the coming years. In our bid to make Rajasthan a favoured destination for domestic and international travellers, the government has increased the tourism budget in recent years. As a result of our various unique and effective marketing initiatives, the State’s tourism has witnessed significant growth. Today, the State is ranked among the top tourist destinations in India. Recently National Tourism Awards were given to Rajasthan for the overall development of tourism in the state under “Best State – Comprehensive Development of Tourism” category and best promotional films. Our roadmap for a continued rise in tourist footfall includes improving intra-state air connectivity to ensure that all our tourist spots are well connected. Collaborate with influencers, celebrities and media to promote the lesser-known destinations and experiences through our marketing programmes and work closely with our trade partners. What new tourism-related product offerings are in the pipeline to promote State’s tourism landscape? The new destinations which are being promoted and highlighted are Neelkanth nd Bhangarhin Alwar, Wax Museum and Fish Aquarium Udaipur, Naval Mahal of Udaipur, Shilpgram in Sawai Madhopur, Harshal Mata Temple nd Chand Baori (Stepwell) at Abhaneri in Dausa, Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, Wax Museum at Nahargarh Jaipur and lesser-known destinations in Rajasthan such as those in Shekhawati region (Jhunjunu-Churu- Sikar), Hadoti region (Bundi-Kota- Jhalawar) as well as Wagad region (Dungarpur-Banswara), etc. What percentage of the total marketing budget is allocated towards social media and Business to Consumer (B2C) activities? Around 10 per cent of our overall tourism budget is allocated towards social media and B2C marts activities and the rest on marts and advertising. Akin to Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) that has a tie-up with Airbnb, a global aggregator in the hospitality sector. does Rajasthan Tourism also have any similar plans for a tie-up with Airbnb to promote heritage properties that have now been certified by the department? The Department is open to tie-ups. […]
To delve upon the best practices on Kumbh, the Haridwar Roorkee Development Authority and Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd is organising Innovation Summit in Haridwar on Saturday. The two-day summit will be inaugurated by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Madan Kaushik, Minister For Urban Development, Government of Uttarakhand. From the Haridwar administration, Deeepak Rawat, District Magistrate; Krishna Kumar VK, Senior Superintendant of Police; Nitin Bhadauria, Vice Chairman, Haridwar Roorkee Development Authority; Swati Bhadauria, Chief Development Officer; Manjunath TC, Superintendant of Police(Crime & Traffic) will take the sessions forward on 'Experiential Learning from Kumbh Mela Cities & The Best Practices'; 'Innovative Infrastructural Development for Urban Areas-(Transport & Mobility, Sustainable Energy and Housing)'; 'Ensuring Health, Hygiene and Effective Sanitation During Kumbh'; 'Ensuring Cashless Kumbh through Innovation in BFSI Sector', etc. From Uttarakhand, Ganesh Martolia, Inspector General of Police (HQ); Yugal Kishore Pant, Mission Director, National Health Mission; Ashok Kumar, Additional Director General of Police will deliberate on various aspects of Maha Kumbh scheduled in 2021. To present the international perspective on mega events like Kumbh Sachin Gaur, Project Coordinator, India EU Cooperation on ICT- Related Standardisation, Policy & Legislation and Harshita Bhatnagar, National ICT Expert, Asian Development Bank will participate in the summit. From across the country Dr Ravinder Kumar Singal, Commissioner of Police, Nashik; S S Rawat, Additional Collector, Mandla; Dayanand Prasad, Additional District Magistrate, Allahabad; Divakar Natu, Chairman, Simhasth Mela Samiti, Ujjain; Udai Kisve, Deputy Collector, Nashik; Mayank Upadhyay, Coordinator, Simhasth Mela Committee, Ujjain; Avnish Kumar Sharma, Commissioner, Moradabad Municipal Corporation; Satyaprakash Patel, Commissioner, Aligarh Municipal Corporation; Anil Kumar Singh, Deputy General Manager, Rajcomp Info Services Ltd, Government of Rajasthan; Dr Narinder Singh Bhatial, Programme Manager-Quality Assurance, National Health Mission, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Jammu & Kashmir; Mukesh Kumar Sharma, Deputy Director, Department of Information Technology & Communications, Government of Rajasthan will share their respective cities experiences at the summit. A special issue of eGov magazine will also be launched at the event. […]
In recent times, Rajasthan has made rapid strides on tourism front and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (RTDC) is committed to introduce many more pro-tourism sector initiatives that would be instrumental in boosting Rajasthan’s image as a tourism hotspot, says Kuldeep Ranka, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Forest and Environment, Art and Culture, Government of Rajasthan, in an exclusive interview with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN). Having recently joined the tourism department how has been your experience so far? Tourism is an important sector not only for the State of Rajasthan but also of the entire country. The sector holds great significance since it provides employment to a large number of masses, both directly and indirectly. Rajasthan has always been one State which has attracted a large number of tourists for its rich culture, arts and history, monuments, deserts and sand dunes, forests including its wildlife, among other attractions. Each year, the State receives a large number of foreign contingents of tourists. In short, for every kind of target audience, there is something on offer here. The aggressive marketing strategy followed by the State has further bolstered the sector greatly. Tourism is one of the major components of State’s GDP and economy do you think there is a need for more efforts to promote Rajasthan as a tourism hotspot? What initiatives your department is taking in this regard? You are right. Apart from other important sectors of the economy, tourism is the backbone of the State. Further, in terms of its importance in providing huge direct and indirect employment, it rightly figures among the high priority segment for the State. So far, the tourism potential of the State has been tapped by various State agencies. In recent times, the State government has been focussing on renovation and providing world-class amenities at various museums spread across the State. Similarly, at the wildlife sanctuaries, such as at the tiger reserves, similar services are being extended. We believe such steps would further contribute towards attracting more tourists to the State. Apart from this, we have also taken steps to organise various cultural activities throughout the year. For this, we have now drawn a calendar of events, festivals and fairs to be organised throughout the year. As part of this, we have also been focussing to showcase the lesser-known fairs and festivals of the State. In addition, RTDC has been also making efforts in providing budget hotels for tourists, and by running of two luxury trains, giving world-class experience to tourists coming to the State, I believe, we have further bolstered the image of the Rajasthan as a tourism hotspot. We have been also looking forward to showcase cultural events such as Udaipur Music Festival, storytelling festivals, Jaipur Literature Festival and various other such events that in recent times have caught the attention of world community. While we are making all-out efforts in this direction, our advertising and marketing efforts have reaped us great rewards so far. Rajasthan’s ecotourism, especially its deserts are hugely popular among tourists. What specific steps taken have been undertaken for their promotion? It is true that Rajasthan’s deserts have always been hugely popular among tourists. Therefore, besides, focusing on the promotion of State’s sand dunes, local flora and fauna, we are actively working on this front. Along with this, attractions such as Havelis of Jaisalmer and other similar havelis are also being promoted on similar lines. Additionally, the State government has been making efforts to develop desert circuit across the State. At present, our luxury tourist train - ‘Palace on Wheels’ also goes to all such desert regions, covering attractions such as the ‘Desert National Park’, and ‘Akal Wood Fossil Park’ (at Jaisalmer). The amenities around these attractions are also being made more tourist-friendly. Here, worth mentioning is the deployment of tourist-friendly police force at all such places. On similar lines, many such developments are being introduced elsewhere across the State and many more are in the pipeline too. Going forward, I am hopeful that the desert tourism in the State is set to grow manifold. The concept of night tourism is one of the innovative steps that the State government has taken in a big way what other things are you doing to promote night tourism? Certainly, in recent times, the concept of night tourism has gained immense popularity in the State. There are many tourists who like to visit various monuments in evening and various cultural performances at that time of the day. To cater to such a demand, we have partnered with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and, together have launched the ‘Jaipur by Nite’ concept. Under which, various cultural performances are organised in the evening. The concept has been very well received by tourists in the State. Forests are also an important component that you are looking after, how are you going forward to promote forest tourism in the State? Forest and wildlife have always been hugely popular with tourists. RTDC has been making all-out effort to further promote this segment by not just providing the best of amenities there, but by facilitating world-class wildlife sightseeing experiences in various wildlife sanctuaries spread across the State that include tiger habitats, birds’ sanctuaries, day safari such as Jhalana Leopard Safari etc. Similar steps are also being implemented at Udaipur and elsewhere. Is more connectivity key to bring in increased number of tourists? Yes, when it comes to tourism, connectivity is one of the most important aspects. I believe, connectivity to the State has improved over the years. Presently, the road connectivity to the State is fantastic and air connectivity has also improved in the recent times. In addition, rail services to the State have also been improved and are being strengthened further. To further boost tourism, ‘air taxis’ have now been introduced. Technology intervention is very prominent in various sectors. How important do you think is its role in bolstering tourism sector in the State? We all are aware that technology has today made the whole world a global village. Tourism is one sector which is one of the chief beneficiaries of the digital interventions taking place across sectors. Today, be it booking for a place or going to the place itself, technology has changed the whole process. We are aware of the latest developments in this field and employ the latest tools to promote tourism in the State. With regard to the tourism sector, there are various innovators with cutting-edge solutions that can be utilised for the welfare of the tourism sector. How is government looking forward to collaborate with such players? With regard to furthering innovation in the State, we have a very open policy under which, from time to time we interact with various stakeholders. They offer us invaluable feedback. We also get involved in various industry events and conferences – where the learning has always been mutual, and in the light of the feedback received, we further aim to improve upon our product offerings. […]
Among the Indian states, Rajasthan is considered as the perfect potpourri of a rich cultural heritage, offering glimpse of modernity, Kartik Sharma and Ahmad Shariq Khan of Elets News Network (ENN) take a close look at what makes this State one of the most preferred tourist destinations. Home to numerous attractive destinations, coupled with a world-class hospitality ecosystem favouring tourism, being actively promoted by the State Government, Rajasthan today tops any domestic or international tourist’s wish list. Since time immemorial, Rajasthan, the land of majestic Aravali Hills, has been regarded as the land of kings, palaces, valour and sacrifices. Rajasthan derives its name from “Rajah” “Sthana”, which literally means home of Kings, and it truly is. Tales of battles fought and romance of the riches adorn every wall, folklore or literature of the state. The present state of Rajasthan today comprises 33 districts, which is effectively a union of 22 former princely states. Located in the northwestern part of India, the State is spread over 3,42,239 sq.km area, making it geographically the largest State in the country, encompassing around 11 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. One could gauge the sheer vastness of its size if its area is looked at in comparison to that of some of the western countries such as that of Italy (3, 01,200 sq. km.), Norway (3, 24,200 sq. km) or of Poland (3, 12,600 sq. km.) The State’s topography is such that it mainly comprises three regions, namely, the Aravali hills range, the Great Indian Thar Desert and the Eastern part of the state. It can be said that Rajasthan’s topography is a potpourri of the sandy deserts and abundant flora and fauna. Rajasthan – A Unique Tourism Landscape Rajasthan is a land of great beauty and diversity. From the Thar Desert in the west to the fertile southeastern plains, Rajasthan’s topography too shares this diversity. The State is home of brave Rajput warriors. Rajasthan is today popular for its vibrant culture, from the lively folkdances to the many schools of Indian classical music. The customs and traditions, fairs and festivals, handicrafts, art and music reflect the very broad spectrum of the Rajasthani culture where much of the Rajasthani thought, philosophy and culture are being reflected across the nook and corner of the State. That’s the reason why the main hotspot destinations of State such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Chittor, Bharatpur and Alwar are hugely popular among tourists. The rich tourist attractions of Rajasthan includes numerous forts and palaces, monuments and structures, lakes and mountains, sand dunes and desert beauty, national parks and wildlife destinations. Even the cities and towns of Rajasthan are worth exploring. The State is known for its diversity in terms of natural resources, cultural heritage, historical as well as archaeological wonders and rare flora and fauna and particularly, the wildlife. The forts and palaces, heritage hotels, colourful fairs and festivals, local art and handicrafts have been a unique selling proposition for tourists coming to the State. The desert environment in the western parts of the State is also a major attraction for visitors, particularly for foreign tourists. There are good reasons to believe why tourism in Rajasthan is being accorded the priority it deserves. No wonder why Rajasthan is called the “Designer State” as far as tourism on national map in concerned. This is mainly because of its people, culture, cuisine, costumes, clothes and its numerous traditional art forms. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan has rightly declared tourism as one of the key area of economic development and termed this sector as the “Hope Sector” for Rajasthan. The state’ colourful canvas of culture is best described in the words of Hon’ble Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who describes the land of Rajasthan as “a colourful melange of massive forts, stunning palaces, diverse cultures, delectable cuisines and warm people, set amidst a rugged yet inviting landscape”. Calling it a land that has inspired her, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan describes the unique terrain of the state as: “Come tread on the sands of time. In Rajasthan, you will find every hue in Nature’s grand palette - the red sands, the blue of royalty, the pink cities or the amber sunsets. Surrender yourself to the sounds of trinkets or the sounds of the all conquering wind. Sight and sounds that are far removed from any city. Sights and sounds that will transport you into a folk lore.” We could not agree more! Rajasthan and tourism closely interwoven Thanks to the proactive role and enabling environment provided by the State Government, tourism industry in Rajasthan is a flourishing industry and a force to reckon with. The sector, besides contributing around 15 per cent to the economy of Rajasthan is an important foreign exchange earner for the State that also contributes to the promotion of local handicrafts and artisans and infrastructure development of the State. Not to forget, Rajasthan also forms part of India’s golden triangle, a popular tourist circuit which connects the national capital Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, making it one of the most preferred tourist destinations, particularly for global tourists. The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is among the top 10 preferred destinations that travellers have on their wish lists for the upcoming year, a recent study has revealed. Various studies undertaken by the State have shown that tourism is said to have a significant multiplier effect on the state economy as it not only increases employment opportunities, generating revenue, developing infrastructure, increasing investment opportunities but also revives traditions and heritage conservation. It is estimated that every rupee spent by a tourist changes hands 13 times and that every hotel room generates direct employment to three persons and indirect employment to eight persons. Not surprisingly, tourism is the third largest employer after agriculture and textiles in the State. The state government is actively pursuing a pro-tourism policy aimed at bolstering the sector and in recent times, has introduced many unique schemes to help the sector flourish hassle-free and realise its full potential. In recent times, efforts initiated by Department of Tourism (DoT), Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (RTDC), Rajasthan Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (RITTMAN) and many other organisations have reaped great rewards for the State’s tourism sector. Further, in addition keeping a thrust on tourist-welcoming schemes such as “Padharo Mhare Desh” meaning “Rajasthan Invites You”, coupled with Rajasthan tourism’s new captivating (and quite successful) marketing blitzkrieg Campaign titled ‘Jane Kya Dikh Jaaye’, the State of Rajasthan can be said to have successfully established the identity of Rajasthan as the land of the wonders, thereby creating effective buzz in the minds of tourists who, going by the recent numbers, have only grown manifold. “Our marketing strategy to overcome the challenges has been to promote Rajasthan’s offering beyond what is already known through media and influencers; digital and social media campaigns; effective PR and on-ground activation. The coordinated effort enables us to bring to life different and new experiences in Rajasthan, from the individual prospective of travellers and explorers enchanted by Rajasthan,” says Pradeep Kumar Borar, Special Secretary and Director Tourism, Government of Rajasthan. Going forward, the major new dimensions for the advancements of tourism being explored include, improvement in transportation network by rail, road and air connectivity, increase in fund allocation to tourism sector and free loans to tourism projects, human resource development, increasing private sector participation, preservation of rich heritage palaces, and encouraging new area of tourism such as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism, rural tourism and adventure tourism, among others. The Key Attractions There are many tourism-related offerings that the State offers. These include its majestic forts and palaces, safari tours, wildlife sanctuary parks, heritage and pilgrimage places, beautiful lakes and rivers among its other countless unique cultural products such as folk music, Traditional dance forms and puppetry etc. The list simply goes on and on. Key Marketing Initiatives being promoted 1. Increased focus on International Marketing: In 2017-18, Rajasthan tourism facilitated participation of about 30 tour operators and hoteliers to take part in five international travel marts (TOPRESAParis, ITB- Singapore, WTM- London, FITUR- Madrid and ITB- Berlin). This year already more than 80 participation request from travel trade have been received in Tourism Department to facilitate participation in these marts. Based on the input received from travel trade this year, the State Tourism Department is said to have included JATA-Tokyo and Pure Experiences- Marrakesh in its annual plan. Further, the Tourism Department has also added many niche cultural events to annual calendar, some of these are: Rajasthan Heritage Week, Jaipur in October The Sacred Festival at holy Pushkar held in October World Music Festival held in Udaipur from in February Jaipur Photo Fest in February 2. Revamped Traditional Fairs & Festivals: The State’s traditional fairs and festivals are very popular both within and outside India. In recent times, the Tourism Department had joined hands with many private players to scale up its festivals. Some noteworthy fairs and festivals include: Pushkar Fair held in Oct/Nov Camel Fair Bikaner- held in January Desert Festival’ Jaisalmer held in January Braj-Holi Festival in Bharatpur in February Dhulandi (Holi) Festival in Jaipur in March Mewar Festival in Udaipur in March Gangaur Festival in Jaipur in March • Rajasthan Foundation Day celebration organised as Rajasthan Festival in Jaipur and all over State in the month of March has become very popular among tourists. • Jaipur Lit- Fest supported by Rajasthan Tourism, and popularly known as JLF is held annually in Jaipur in the month of January. It has now become iconic and global event. This year, the State’s Tourism Department is taking JLF abroad to London and Boulder (USA). • Mountain Echoes Literature Festival Thimphu (Bhutan) – This will take place on 22-25 August 2018. The State’s Tourism Department has been supporting this literary festival for so many years now. 3. Preserving and Showcasing of State Heritage: The State Government is also keen to revamp museums which have a vast repository of literature, rare manuscripts and other attractions of heritage value. The State Tourism Department has renovated the museums at Sikar, Pali, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ajmer and Bharatpur. Work at Museums in Kota, Chittorgarh, Jodhpur, Jhalawar, Alwar, Ahar (Udaipur), Dungarpur, Mandore (Jodhpur), Shahpura, Viratnagar, Jaipur (Albert Hall) and Chandrawati will also get completed shortly. 4. Luxury Trains: Renovated ‘Palace on Wheels’ is doing good business in current year. Its recent year-wise occupancy clearly depicts the pace and direction of its progress: Occupancy in year 2016-17: 41 per cent Occupancy in year 17-18: 60 per cent Occupancy in year 18-19: 80 per cent forecast estimates Familiarisation (FAM) trips – Worth mentioning is, in recent times, the State Tourism Department has hosted numerous international bloggers, event managers, Royal Rajasthan Team players and foreign travel agents from Delhi to Jaipur on these trains. 5. Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries: Rajasthan is a richly endowed state with the natural heritage of diverse flora, fauna and numerous scenic landscapes. At present, the state boasts of: 3 Tiger Reserves 3 National Parks 26 wildlife sanctuaries and 10 conservation reserves housing bountiful biodiversity in the form of hundreds of species of micro and macro flora and fauna. In recent years, the state has taken huge strides in conserving its natural wealth. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve commands the major share of wildlife tourism in the State. However, due to increasing tourism pressure beyond the carrying capacity of the park, a new Tiger Safari park will be established at Amli near Ranthambhore tiger to divert tourism. Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar and Mukandara Hills Tiger Reserve Kota, are two other prominent Tiger Reserves. Jhalana Leopard safari park is operational in Jaipur. Also, a Lion Safari is under construction at Nahargarh at an area of 36 hectares with a cost of Rs 4 crores. National Chambal Ghariyal Sanctuary and Sam sand dunes in Desert National Park, Jaisalmer are also being developed as tourism destinations. Presently, Sitamata Sanctuary, Raoli Tadgarh, KumbalGarh Sanctuary, Kela Devi Sanctuary and Mt Abu Sanctuary and Ranthambore are envisaged in the proposed heritage and spiritual tourism circuits. Similarly, Jawai dam in Pali, Tal Chhapar in Churu and Van Vihar sanctuary in Dholpur, Bansiyal Khetri Conservation Reserve in Jhunjhunu, etc, are also being developed. 6. Ecotourism: With a view to attract more and more nature lovers in the State and also laying down the framework for sustainable growth pattern in the State, Rajasthan was one of the first States to formulate its own Ecotourism Policy way back in 2010. Under this, nine ecotourism sites have been developed at: Menal (Bhilwara), Bassi Sitamata (Chittorgarh) Pachkund (Ajmer) Sundamata (Jalore) Gudha Bishnoi (Jodhpur) Sorsan (Kota) Harshnath (Sikar) and few other sites spread across the state. To promote ecotourism and ex-situ (preservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats) and for conservation of wildlife, three biological parks have been opened for general public. These are at: Machia Nahargarh Sajjangarh Further, work is in progress in two more Biological parks: Abheda Biological Park, Kota Marudhara Biological Park, Bikaner An elephant ride at Amber is major tourist attraction in Jaipur. To further boost this segment, Hathi Gaon (Elephant Village) near Amber has been created with the dual purpose of rehabilitation of Elephants in Jaipur and to attract tourists. Certainly, under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan, the State’s tourism sector has been flourishing by leaps and bounds. Yet there remain many untapped opportunities which the State government, together with various stakeholders, including private players has been actively exploring in recent times. This is evident from the repeated hikes in tourism budget by the State government. Further, bearing fruits of its unique, innovative and effective campaigns and marketing initiatives, Rajasthan has certainly managed to establish itself as a force to reckon with in country’s tourism circuit and thus, be ranked among the top tourist destinations in India. Going forward, good days are certainly in store for this State, known as Potpourri of traditional and contemporary blend of what today’s India signifies – traditional yet modern, coloruful yet quiet and serene (at times). Certainly, you have got all in Rajasthan. And as the State’s tagline sums it aptly “Jane Kya Dikh Jaaye”. Isn’t it so? […]
Areas with over one lakh population will be served with a better infrastructure via Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, says C R Chaudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, in conversation with Gopi Krishna Arora of Elets News Network (ENN). Since start-ups are also an important facet of Smart Cities Mission, what are the initiatives taken by the Central Government to nurture them? We are completely focused on the young generation which is teeming with ideas. They must approach with some innovative ideas which can be nurtured by us. For the development of the nation, logistics with the right use of technology can contribute for the benefit of the nation as it accounts for around 16 per cent for our GDP. We have dedicated ourselves to start-ups. Currently, 10,000 start-ups have been registered and every year we get one lakh queries from them,which are patiently looked into. We have invested Rs 25 crores in these start-ups with some amenities like work space, electricity for their good shape have also been provided by us. The Government of India is helping youth under the hand holding policy. The youths should be motivated and encouraged. What is your message for startups and foreign investors who are interested to invest in India? For start-ups, all the young inventors and innovators should never hesitate to start a company. Whatever facilities they require from India’s Commerce and Industry department, we will provide. Besides, if there is any extra requirement, we are ready to extend support to them. As far as the industries are concerned, we have three key motives: maximum production with zero defect and zero effect, which means good quality products. Second is maximum export and third is maximum employment. Any foreign establishment, ready to invest in India, we welcome it with a condition to establish an industry right here that will give employment to our young generation. Earlier, there was restriction on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but today 90 per cent of FDI is coming by automatic route. There are some restrictions but in Defence sector, Railway sector and in Insurance sector, it shall not be a matter. Give us your view of ‘ease of doing’ business. What plans do you have to boost it? All the complexities related to ‘ease of doing business’ are reduced. Simplification and notification of rules is done for registration, paying electricity, and environment clearance. There are 36 white industries, which need not to go anywhere because they have been given facility of automatic clearance. The pollution is cleared within no time. Similarly, the issues related to import and export are solved ideally owing to online facilities which have played an important role in reducing manual interface. According to the survey of the World Bank, our ranking has jumped from 130 to 100 and our target is to get in top 50 next year. The Prime Minister has openly spoken about giving support to people who bring business to the country. When there are many investors in the nation it will give increase production that will automatically give jobs to youths. According to the world competition, the country with maximum production with requisite quality in the current scenario is the most successful country in the world. Perform, reform and transform – that is out motto. How has been your experience in EletsStartup festival and Smart City Summit, Surat? It was a superior experience and as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to develop 100 Smart Cities wherein people will easily get water, electricity, housing, transportation, education, and health facilities, we are making efforts. These Smart Cities should become a specimen for other cities and villages. Besides, the Government is building infrastructure under its AMRUT scheme for areas with population more than one lakh. Surat has made its place in the first five cities out of 100 in the Smart Cities Mission and also more than 50 projects were considered in it out of which 40 are on the track of completion. One of the projects that I observed is Surat Diamond project wherein the world’s largest single commercial building providing amenities will be set up. So, these conferences must be organised in order to make more and more people aware about what is happening in the country in terms of development. […]