Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Oct 18, 2002
Industry & Economy
Budget process will no longer be a mystery
The Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, addressing a tourism conference in the Capital on Thursday.
NEW DELHI, Oct. 17
THE Budget-making process is set to become more transparent with the Finance Ministry planning to make public all the key recommendations of the Task Force on Direct and Indirect Taxes headed by Dr Vijay Kelkar, Advisor to the Finance Minister.
Speaking at the third CII international conference-cum-showcase on Indian tourism and heritage, the Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, said that the feedback given by the general public on the various suggestions of the Kelkar panel would be considered during Budget formulation.
"We plan to make the Finance Ministry transparent and the process will begin by putting the proposals on the Web site," Mr Singh said.
On the tourism sector, the Finance Minister said that this sector had the potential to generate employment. "For every tourist arriving into India, at least five jobs are created," Mr Singh said. He also added that the Government, for the first time, has recognised the importance of the tourism industry and has included a chapter on the sector on the Tenth Plan document.
The Minister also said that there should be an attitudinal change and there should be no difference between international tourists and local tourists.
Addressing the inaugural session earlier in the day, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr Jagmohan, said that active participation of the private sector would contribute to the growth and development of the travel and tourism industry in India.
"The Government has set in motion a process to synthesise the elements of culture tourism and civic governance," he said.
Maharaja Gaj Singh, Chairman of the CII National Committee on Tourism & Heritage, said that a CEOs' conclave chaired by the Planning Commission member, Mr N.K. Singh, came up with various measures to push tourism.
Among them are linking the various transport facilities such as roads, railways and air through a travel chain, offering tax concessions for private investment, setting up a crisis management committee, allowing private participation in conservation efforts and taking up proper marketing initiatives.
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