SHIMLA-20 July, 2019

CM directs to explore possibilities for developing Riwalsar for tourism activities

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government is endeavouring to promote tourism in a big way with special emphasis on developing basic infrastructure in virgin tourist destinations. He said that the government would implement each tourism project in a phased manner and the focus would be laid on providing best infrastructural facilities to all age group tourists.

He was speaking during the presentation made by CSRD foundation here today on a comprehensive plan to develop tourism infrastructure in the state.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the government would develop Chanshal for skiing, Bir-Billing for paragliding, Pong Dam for water sports and Janjehli from eco-tourism point of view on priority basis.

The Chief Minister directed to explore the possibilities to develop Riwalsar in Mandi district which is visited by the tourists in a large number especially Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh pilgrims. He also directed to prepare detailed project report for developing Buddhist circuits in the state.

He said that state government has also planned to develop Shiv Dham in Mandi town as an added attraction to the tourists visiting the area. He said ample parking, restaurant and other facilities would be developed to cater to the requirements of tourists of all age groups. The Shiv Dham, which is proposed to be developed on Kangnidhar hill top above Mandi town will be connected with cable car ropeway facility which would also be a mode of transportation for the locals. Moreover, the banks of the Beas river in the Mandi town would also be developed besides an artificial lake.

The Chief Minister asked to explore the possibilities to connecting Kangnidhar with Tarna temple. He said the project to develop Mandi town as tourist destination would be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) however, till the government receives funds, the work on this project would be started through state funds in the first phase.

Directors of the CSRD foundation Hitesh Trivedi, Ojas Hirani and Bharat Patel, senior officers of the tourism department were present on the occasion.

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Excise and Taxation department collects Rs. 6421.55 crore

The Excise and Taxation department collected Rs. 6421.55 crores towards government ex-chequer during the financial year 2018-19 against the target of Rs. 5860.63 crores whereas the department has collected Rs. 1159.74 crores up to May, 2019 during current fiscal.

This was disclosed in a review meeting held here under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary (E&T) Sanjay Kundu, in which the officers from all the zones and districts participated.

Sanjay Kundu expressed his satisfaction with the performance of the department regarding achieving the revenue targets and stressed on the need to run special campaigns for realization of arrears due under all heads so that more revenue could be added to government ex-chequer. He also directed to work for plugging loopholes and leakages at all levels.

While expressing concern over pending arrears, he directed the department to take fresh look at the provisions of Excise and Toll policy to make it more effective and realistic to achieve and secure higher revenue. He exhorted to make the excise policy more tourist friendly by amending the relevant provisions and also by securing the government revenue.

It was emphasized to increase professionalism in the department by way of conduct of intensive and adequate training programmes for capacity building and to emulate the best practices and models available in the country.

He directed that the department should adopt a more proactive approach for revenue enhancement under Goods & Services Tax Act. The departmental officers in the field should take more interest in tax collection from the service sector in co-ordination with various government departments.

Sanjay Kundu assured that the department would be adequately strengthened and equipped with all such facilities which are required for effective and efficient tax administration to maximize the government revenue by way of transparency and efficient functioning.

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