Less than two weeks before its investment summit ‘Magnificent MP’, the Madhya Pradesh government as part of a new policy has decided to provide 20 to 30 per cent subsidy to branded hotels with annual turnover from rent capped at two crores. The government also amended the tourism policy to attract more tourists.
Under the Branded Hotel Promotion Policy-2019, to avail the subsidy, the minimum investment for the branded hotel chain should be Rs 100 crore. Hotels, resorts and heritage hotels are three categories under the policy.
Law and Public Relations Minister P C Sharma said MP is the first state to have such a policy. The government will also provide annual operating subsidy up to Rs 2 crore to resorts and heritage hotels for the first three years. This grant will be in addition to the capital grant received under the policy. The government estimates that at least 1,000 luxury and world-class rooms will be set up in the state in the next five years.
The state Cabinet approved amendment to the tourism policy of 2016 to make it efficient, practical and suitable for capital investment. The state tourism development corporation will encourage the establishment of way-side amenities keeping in mind road network and facilities for passengers.
Chaired by Chief Minister Kamal Nath, the Cabinet also decided to simplify bar licences for resorts to encourage tourism in forest areas. Bar licences will be provided near forest sanctuaries in addition to national parks.
According to the new policy the resort bar should be located within 20 kms from the boundary of the parks and sanctuaries. The minimum room requirement has been brought down from 10 to five and the area from two-hectare to one acre for the resort bar. The annual licence fee has been increased to Rs 50,000 for five-room resort, Rs one lakh for 6-15 room resort and Rs 1.5 lakh for 10 or more rooms for bars located in forest areas.
The BJP slammed the Congress government for its decision to ease rules regarding bars. “The public was hoping that the Kamal Nath government will take some decision on providing relief to the flood-affected but it is more concerned about lovers of liquor,” state BJP chief and Jabalpur MP Rakesh Singh said.
The Opposition leader said the government’s priority should have been to help those affected by floods. “The CM is bothered abut opening bars in forest areas but does not think about reaching agriculture fields and providing relief to farmers,” Singh said. While in Opposition the Congress was putting pressure on the BJP government to impose total prohibition but in government its taking a number of measures to increase liquor consumption, added the BJP leader.