Senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP from Assam RP Sarmah on Friday said that the state government must ascertain the ministers’ knowledge and interest about tourism before sending them to foreign countries to promote tourism.
Sarmah’s statement came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Assam government unveiled a new tourism policy declaring it as an industry, which not only aims to increase inflow of tourists but also vowed to give lot of incentives in the form of subsidy to those who choose Assam as their destination for shooting films.
The government had also announced that state ministers would go on participating road-shows globally to promote tourism and seek investors for the global investor summit to held in February next year in Assam.
“It is a very welcome step by the government of Assam to industrialise tourism in the state. But before sending the ministers to foreign land for advertisement, the government must ensure their interest and knowledge on tourism sector and their capacity to impress upon others about the tourism potentials of the state,” said Sarmah in a Facebook post on Friday.
“Further, before inviting tourists, government should build up tourism infrastructure in the state. Imagine a situation: a chief minister stays overnight in a government guest house in Kaziranga, next morning goes to washroom for a bath, after smearing soap all over his body finds there is no water in the tap, calls his PA over cell phone and waits for ten minutes before the water flows to his washroom. If such is the condition of our government guest house, who would come to Assam?” he posted on the social networking site.
The BJP parliamentarian from Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency also said Assam needs to learn from Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and other states as far as tourism is concerned.
“Tourists want good facilities, quick quality service, secure and comfortable stay. The employees in government guest houses should be given hard core training and enforce strict discipline for running a guest house,” he said.
Sarmah had recently created a controversy in Assam by saying that most of the ministers in Assam accept 10 per cent ‘commission’ for awarding contracts in their departments.
Reportedly the party warned the Lok Sabha MP for his comments regarding the ‘commission’.