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Ministry of Tourism

Plans to develop Jain, Sufi and Ramayana circuits in the country: Dr Mahesh Sharma Foreign Tourist Arrivals in 2014 show an increase of 10.6% over the previous year

The next plan of the Union Ministry of Tourism is to develop Jain, Sufi and Ramayana circuits in the country in addition to the existing circuits already being developed by the Ministry. This information was given by the Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma in reply to a starred question in Rajya Sabha today.

Replying to supplementaries, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that End-to –End tourism will be provided at the Buddhist circuit and GPS enabled vehicles will be run to ensure the safety of the tourists. The Minister also informed that welcome cards are being issued to the foreign tourists with dos and don’ts written on them. The foreign tourists specially female tourists have been advised to take a picture of the number plate of the taxi she is boarding and send it to the next destination, he explained.

The Minister said that the Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in 2014 was 7.70 million showing an increase of 10.6% over the previous year and the Foreign exchange earnings have also increased by 11.6% during the same period. He said that Buddhist circuit has been allotted Rs 120 crore and the work on it has started. Similarly Krishna circuit, which includes Mathura and Vrindavan, is also being developed and a sum of Rs 120 crore is being allocated to it.

The Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD schemes are the main schemes started by the new government, Dr Mahesh Sharma said. An amount of Rs 100 crore has been allocated for the 12 religious cities selected under the PRASAD scheme and Rs 600 crore has been provided for the Swadesh Darshan scheme for the current year.

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