Rigzin Samphel, Commissioner Secretary Tourism, and Culture have laid special prominence on the new Capital Outright Investment Subsidy which intends to promote the concept of small and beautiful fixed assets in Ladakh based on local architecture and tradition, the spokesperson of Ladakh said. According to the Department of Tourism, the promotion of tourism assets in remote and virgin tourist destinations of Ladakh is quite important. The spokesperson Ladakh also said, “Any investment made in such assets should be of a value which will have a low gestation period. Therefore, instead of guesthouses and large hotels, the incentive policy aims at the overarching principle of small and sustainable tourism assets.”
He further added that the upper limit of the Capital Outright Investment Subsidy has been increased by 33 percent from the earlier Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh. He said, “The government will grant 30 percent Capital Outright Investment Subsidy on the fixed assets for new tourism units of Ladakh. This will also be available for expansion of the existing units but will be restricted to investments made on the extension of the unit only.” However, the spokesperson said that the subsidy would be restricted on both the accounts to an upper ceiling of 40 lakh for buildings using traditional materials such as Gyapak and local stones and Rs 25 lakh for others.
Another highlight of the incentive policy is the “Ladakh Tangible Cultural Heritage Conservation Fund” and as per the scheme, Ladakh has a rich collection of heritage and historic sites like forts and old heritage buildings which spread all across the districts of Leh and Kargil. The spokesperson said that a committee would be constituted by the department that identifies and makes a list of such properties.
“The committee shall also certify the building as protected historic monuments and buildings,” he said, further adding the listed sites would qualify for the work of restoration and conservation. In the case of the site being private property, the ownership would be certified by the revenue department. The project proposal with a restoration plan and design would be issued by qualified experts to be nominated by the Department of Tourism, Ladakh. He further added, “All works of restoration or conservation would be carried out under the supervision of the Department of Tourism Culture, Union Territory of Ladakh.”
The Tourism Incentive Policy has a scheme to “Support for Adventure and Recreation Tourism.” In the scheme, the subsidy of up to 20 percent of the cost of the equipment will be subjected to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh as a one-time measure. The equipment is used for hiring or providing the services at the prices approved by the Tourism Department to the tourists interested in adventure sports.
One of the other highlights of the incentive policy is the “Training of Personnel in Tourism Industry” which has been introduced to help entrepreneurs in upgrading the skills of the personnel engaged by them in running their tourism and travel business registered by the Tourism Department. The training is conducted with the prior approval of the Director of Tourism and the reimbursement of the cost incurred on training would be payable after the successful completion of the training.