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Centre to review RAP/PAP in North East
Published on 8 Aug. 2009 12:20 AM IST
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The union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is all set to review the restrictions pertaining to Restricted Area Permit (RAP)/Protected Area Permit (PAP) for tourists in few North-eastern states. In its latest communiqué, the Union Ministry of Tourism informed the states concerned of the region that MHA would review relaxation of the restrictions if the state governments sent proposals to the Centre. Referring to the latest decision of the Ministry it said the MHA conveyed relaxation of Protected Area Regime in five circuits of Arunachal Pradesh but the state government was authorised to issue PAP on two special conditions, reported UNI. It also underlined that the Centre would provide financial assistance to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for infrastructure development in areas of North-east having core-competency in art, craft, culture, handlooms, textiles. Community participation and capacity building, including skill upgradation, in such rural sites are supported through Government of India-United Nations Development Programme Endogenous Tourism Project and as many as 142 projects worth Rs 8742.70 lakh had been sanctioned for the purpose so far in the country. Meanwhile, experts commented that besides absence of sectoral policy Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and Inner Line Permit (ILP), fear of insurgency, lack of infrastructure and coordinated efforts were the main hurdles in tourism development of North east. The region has already emerged as a strategic base for foreign and domestic investors to strike the Southeast Asian markets. Despite its proximity to Myanmar, gateway to ASEAN countries, fastest growing potential markets and proximity to SAARC countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal, which offered the advantage of international trade, the region failed to tap the full benefit. Inadequate infrastructure, inaccessibility to tourist destinations, poor accommodation, lack of trained manpower, unhygienic conditions and harassment of tourists were the major constraints in expansion of international tourist traffic to North-east. Consequently, public-private-partnership was being contemplated in the tourism sector.

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