Ram Mandir and Tourism Initiatives Set to Propel State Finances to New Heights”

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The SBI report, released on January 21, highlights the significant economic boost anticipated for Uttar Pradesh through the completion of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and various tourism initiatives. According to the report, these developments could contribute Rs 20,000-25,000 crore in tax revenue, aligning with the state’s broader fiscal projections for FY24.

One key driver of this economic upswing is the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme initiated by the Central government. The report predicts substantial growth in tourist spending within the state, with an expected doubling of expenditures in the current year compared to 2022. The completion of the Ram Mandir and proactive tourism promotion by the UP government are cited as pivotal factors in this surge.

The report projects that the total expenditure by tourists in Uttar Pradesh may surpass the Rs 4 lakh crore mark by the end of the year, building on the momentum created by domestic tourists who spent nearly Rs 2.2 lakh crore in 2022. Foreign tourists also contributed Rs 10,000 crore to the state’s economy during the same period, with Ayodhya alone attracting 2.21 crore visitors.

Acknowledging the transformative impact of spiritual tourism on the state’s landscape, the report emphasizes the need for an encompassing travel itinerary. This itinerary, according to the report, should offer tourists a comprehensive experience of the rich history spanning various significant locations within Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states, following a hub-and-spoke model. The suggestion is made to explore collaboration with other countries to create a collaborative tourist map.

The surge in spiritual tourism has not only enhanced the state’s physical and digital infrastructure but has also led to improved connectivity, fostering a substantial increase in travel. The report commends Uttar Pradesh for its efforts on economic and socioeconomic fronts, predicting that the state could surpass the $500 billion mark as India progresses towards becoming a $5 trillion economy by FY28.

In terms of its economic weightage in the Indian GDP, Uttar Pradesh is estimated to hold the second-highest position by FY28. The report further anticipates that the state’s GDP might surpass that of Norway, currently holding the second position in the Human Development Index (HDI). Overall, the report paints a positive and promising economic outlook for Uttar Pradesh in the coming years.

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