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India not averse to FDI in tourism sector : Soni

Written by: Staff
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Amritsar, Apr 15: Union Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs Ambika Soni today said the government was not averse to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the tourism sector which was expanding at a very fast pace.

''FDI alongwith private investment was welcome in the tourism sector for developing facilities and infrastructure for both domestic and foreign tourists,'' Ms Soni said while addressing mediapersons after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple.

Stressing the need to develop the tourism sector, Ms Soni said this was one sector where employment opportunities are galore.

''The tourism sector provides more employment than the fast developing IT sector,'' the minister added.

While espressing her desire to give industrial status to hotels, she said her ministry has already taken up this proposal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

''For the time being the Prime Minister has not yet agreed but may be it will be possible in another two years,'' she noted.

If hotels which are an important part of the tourism sector get the status of an industry then it could be a great relief, she said while pointing out that currently hotels have to pay commercial electricity charges which are higher than industrial charges.

UNI

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