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Budget 2020 wishlist: 'Treat cruising industry like IT; set up PPPs to boost growth'

TIRUN's co-founder thinks the cruising industry has potential for tremendous growth.

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2020, 06.29 PM IST
Ratna Chadha said that the cruising industry can make room for domestic tourism to flourish. (Representative Image)
By Ratna Chadha

As the Budget nears, anticipation has started running high. Key expectations from this year's Budget presented by Nirmala Sitharaman include women empowerment, tourism and cruising.

Robust implementation of women-centric policies:
Positive steps have been taken by the Government to empower women. However, the on-ground progress of these policies is not optimum. The Government must earmark a dedicated fund to ensure that women-centric policies are properly implemented throughout the country.

Women-centric reforms:
India needs a higher number of women entrepreneurs and professionals. A special package should be announced for the same. Further, the Government must consider decreasing the income tax of women. Daycare centers for working women (especially across commercial areas) can be another good move this year.

With the right focus, the cruising industry will have a direct and positive impact on the economy, and generate employment.

Stimulate economy:
In 2020, the Government must also act as an economic catalyst. Tourism should be considered as one of the prime generators of employment and one which has a multiplier effect. However, there are a number of challenges faced by the industry that needlessly cause bottlenecks. The Government needs to take measures against them as tourism contributes to the GDP directly.

Cruising industry should be treated like the IT industry:
Cruising needs to flourish in a clean, safe and secure environment, where our heritage sites are treated as true legacies having basic amenities and cleanliness. The Government may want to consider a quasi-private partnership to achieve this objective. Moreover, the cruise industry needs to be treated like the IT industry was a few years ago because it is at a very nascent stage. If similar benefits are transferred to the cruising industry, it will have a direct and positive impact on the economy and generate employment while also benefiting the allied services. The travel industry can utilise their cruise line and make room for domestic tourism to flourish without any documents required to travel. Plus, India has the ability to cover multiple destinations with its vast coastline in one itinerary unlike any other country. But, the cruise industry has its own challenges, which need focus of the Government to flourish like the IT industry.

Ratna Chadh​a feels the Government should focus on tourism industry as it contributes to India's GDP directly.​
Ratna Chadha feels the Government should focus on tourism industry as it contributes to India's GDP directly.

Inland waterways:
Inland waterway is another promising area where the Government policies can bring a tangible difference. These regions should be developed vis-à-vis cruising for both local as well as international tourists.

(The author is Co-founder and Chairperson, Indian Representative of Royal Caribbean Cruises [TIRUN])

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25 Jan, 2020
All eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she gets to roll out her second Budget on February 1.While the main focus is to spur economic growth, India Inc bosses feel certain initiatives in this year's Budget will help various sectors like food, culture & art, real estate, fintech and automobile. Several suggestions like boosting 'Make In India' in order to generate employment, reviving consumer demand and reintroducing the subvention scheme have also been doing the rounds.As the day nears, here are some suggestions from top business leaders.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

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