Victory of 'new India', healthcare workers & spirit of all Indians: Reddy on 100-cr jabs milestone
Union minister G Kishan Reddy on Thursday hailed the country's milestone of administering 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses by calling it a victory of 'Corona warriors', ''new India'' and the spirit of cooperative federalism.
Addressing a tourism conference here, he asserted that there can be no bigger confidence booster for the revival of tourism than vaccination against COVID-19.
''We have witnessed the victory of scientists, the victory of healthcare workers, and the collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. It is a victory of 'new India' and team India; and a victory of the spirit of cooperative federalism, and our Corona warriors,'' Reddy said.
He said vaccination against COVID-19 and tourism will go together in the current scenario, and without vaccination, tourism will not survive and no tourists will come.
''We should use challenging times as an opportunity to rethink, regenerate and reinvent the tourism sector,'' the minister said.
A two-day conference of tourism and culture ministers of southern India began in Bengaluru on Thursday, aiming to apprise various stakeholders about the projects and initiatives being taken by the Centre for the development of the region.
Reddy said the government's decision to scale up vaccination at this speed was to ensure that both lives and livelihoods are protected.
The event, hosted by the Tourism Ministry is in line with the Prime Minister's idea of cooperative federalism where the government of India and the state governments come together to find solutions for a better India.
To utilize this huge advantage that our country has, the Ministry of Tourism has taken several measures to boost tourism and also encourage investment, he said.
The initiatives include a National Tourism Policy that ''we wish to unveil after close consultations with states and all stakeholders'', he said.
Also, it includes consultations to provide industry status to various tourism projects, unsecured loans of Rs 10 lakh to tour operators and Rs 1 lakh to tourist guides who have been affected by the pandemic; and a new data-driven Incredible India 2.0 campaign, Reddy added.
Also, five lakh free visas will be provided to foreign visitors once international travel opens up while e-Visas will be extended to 169 countries, he said.
Tourism Minister of Tamil Nadu M Mathiventhan, Tourism Minister of Telangana Srinivas Goud, Tourism Minister of Karnataka Anand Singh, and Tourism Minister of Puducherry K Lakshminarayan also addressed the event.
Union Minister of State for Tourism Ajay Bhatt, senior officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Railway Ministry, and various other departments, besides, industry stakeholders also attended the conference on its opening day.
From exquisitely carved caves to breath-taking hill stations, from serene temples for the spiritually inclined to beautiful beaches and backwaters the southern region has much to offer, he said.
The ministry is also providing branding and marketing assistance to the states and UTs in the southern region via its various schemes and flagship initiatives.
Under the 'Swadesh Darshan' scheme, which focuses on the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits, the ministry has sanctioned 15 projects in the southern states worth Rs 1,088 crore, he said.
Under the PRASHAD scheme (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive), the ministry has sanctioned six projects in the region that amounts to 15 percent of the entire budget, the minister said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)