In a strategic move to boost domestic tourism, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced projects focusing on port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities across Indian islands, with special mention of the picturesque Union Territory, Lakshadweep. The archipelago, comprising 35 islands known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, is set to be a key focus for transformative measures.
Lakshadweep’s Strategic Mention:
During her Budget 2024 speech, Sitharaman highlighted the government’s commitment to domestic tourism by earmarking projects for various islands, with Lakshadweep being specifically named. The emphasis on port connectivity and tourism infrastructure aligns with the broader vision to enhance travel experiences and stimulate local economies.
Diplomatic Controversy and Visionary Approach:
This announcement follows a recent diplomatic row involving Lakshadweep and the Maldives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media posts showcasing Lakshadweep triggered a response from three Maldivian deputy ministers, leading to their suspension. Nishant Pitti, the CEO of EaseMyTrip, lauded Sitharaman’s visionary approach, stating that the transformative measures in Budget 2024, especially those related to port connectivity and tourism infrastructure, would uplift travel experiences and boost local economies.
Financial Allocations and Infrastructure Outlay:
Sitharaman underscored the government’s commitment to island development by allocating funds for port connectivity and tourism infrastructure. In Budget 2024, the total outlay for infrastructure is set to reach ₹11.11 lakh crore for the fiscal year 2024-25. This significant financial commitment reflects the government’s determination to enhance the tourism potential of islands like Lakshadweep.
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