New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, including the places of religious importance, for various tourism projects in consultation with them subject to availability of funds, inter-se priority, liquidation of pending utilization certificates and adherence to the scheme guidelines.
For development of tourism infrastructure in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has introduced two new schemes in 2014-15 i.e. PRASAD- Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive and Swadesh Darshan – Integrated Development of Theme-Based Tourist Circuits. Under PRASAD twelve cities have been identified for development initially, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwaraka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath and Guwahati. Under Swadesh Darshan scheme, Spiritual Circuit has been identified as theme circuit for development.
During the year 2015-16 under Budget Estimates Rs.100.00 crore and Rs.600.00 crore have been allocated for PRASAD and Swadesh Darshan schemes respectively to develop tourist destinations of global standards. The details of projects sanctioned during the year 2014-15 and 2015-16 under both the schemes are annexed.
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 an unstarred question today in Rajya Sabha.