Swadesh Darshan Receives an Allocation of ₹1750 crore Under the Budget for the Financial Year 2024-2025
3 min read • Updated: February 1, 2024, 10:23 PM
In the Interim Budget 2024-2025, ₹1750 crore is allocated to the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, up from ₹1412 crore last year. This boost aims to develop tourist sites and circuits, fostering economic growth and job creation. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlights tourism's role in driving economic growth and calls for collaboration between states and public-private partnerships. The tourism industry is expected to significantly contribute to India's economic development, with plans to reach a $1 trillion target by 2047 and generate employment for millions. Further details will be revealed in the full-year budget post-elections.
- The Interim Budget 2024-2025 unveils an allocation of ₹1750 crore to the Swadesh Darshan scheme, an increase from last year’s ₹1412 crore.
- The allocation will be used to develop sites and circuits that will help boost the tourism industry and consequently nation’s economy.
All eyes were on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she announced the Budget for the financial year 2024-2025 on February 1st. The Interim Budget for FY25 came with updates for the nation’s tourism industry, with ₹1750 crore being allocated towards the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
Last year for FY24, the Union Budget had allocated around ₹2400 crores towards the Tourism Ministry, out of which ₹1412 crore was directed towards the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. As per the Revised Estimates declared as part of the Budget FY25 announcement, ₹818 crore was spent on developing the Swadesh Darshan Scheme and all it entails.
Swadesh Darshan: An Overview
India has always been globally renowned for its rich and varied cultural and historical heritage. A popular tourist destination for decades, India is rife with opportunities for tourism development and employment generation. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme has been initiated to integrate with other Government-led schemes to harness the tourism industry for job creation, increased economic growth, and tap into commercial potential. The scheme also comprises the demarcation of certain sites as circuits to tap into tourist potential in an organised manner. Such theme-based circuits will help support local communities while fostering social integration without disrupting delicate ecosystems.
What Do the FY25 Budget Allocations for Swadesh Darshan Signify?
Post-pandemic, the travel and tourism industry has picked up traction and could serve as an avenue for job creation and entrepreneurship. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had outlined the importance of the tourism industry in the Union Budget 2023-2024. The Finance Minister utilised her speech as a medium to convey that with the cooperation of the States, and the effective integration of government schemes and public-private partnerships, India could become a landmark tourist destination for domestic and international travellers. In a similar vein, the Finance Minister also stressed the role the tourism industry will play in the current fiscal year, focusing on spiritual tourism and calling for states to develop tourist sites and market them to travellers.
The industry is positioned to serve as a keystone to achieving the Amrit Kaal vision. Since the announcement of the last budget, the Government has been on a mission to develop at least 50 sites, selected through a challenge mode that tests physical connectivity, virtual access, tourist guides, security, hygiene standards, and so on. The allocation of ₹1750 crore will possibly go towards developing these 50 sites and bringing in more locations into the fold.
The travel and tourism sector is one of the key economic drivers for the nation and contributes around 5.8% to India’s GDP. Experts expect that, with Government plans in place, the industry will reach a target of $1 trillion by 2047. It is also speculated that by 2030, the sector will generate employment for around 130 million people. With such grand plans in motion, it is no surprise that the Interim Budget FY25 has allocated ₹1750 crore towards a scheme like Swadesh Darshan.
However, it is best to keep in mind that the Finance Minister has only announced the interim budget, and plans will be consolidated only when the full-year budget is announced post-elections. Watch this space for more timely and important updates about the Budget for the financial year 2024-2025.