Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday began her Budget speech after Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla invited her to present the first Union Budget of the year and decade. The Finance Minister after talking about nutritional value to mothers, children from 0-6 yrs of age, pregnant and lactating mothers/women moved to the second of the third topic theme of the Union Budget which is culture and tourism.
The Finance Minister in a big move proposed to set up an Indian institute of Heritage and Conservation. She also apprised that the institute would be given the status of a deemed university.
"Our government proposes to establish an Indian institute of heritage and Conservation under the ministry of culture. It shall have the status of a deemed university to start with. Acquisition of knowledge in disciplines such as, museology and archeology are essential for collecting and analysing scientific evidence of such findingd and for the semination through high quality museums," Sitharaman told Parliamentarians.
The Union Minister emphasized on the lack of trained manpower in museology and archeology and how it becomes a handicap for both the mentioned disciplines. She also said how it has a negative impact on tourism. In a major boost to archeology and museology, Sitharaman informed the development of five archeological sites as iconic site which would also comprise of on-site museums.
"Five archeological sites would be developed as Iconic sites with on-site museums. They are - Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shiv Sagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat), and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu)."
The Finance Minister also annouced setting up a museum of Numismatics and trade at the museum of Kolkata.
"Our Prime Minister in January 2020 announced recuration of the Indian museum in Kolkata which is the oldest in the country. In the historical mint building in Kolkata, a museum on Numismatics (study or collection of coins, banknotes, and medals) and trade will also be located. Four more museums from across the country shall be taken up for renovation and recuration so that world-class experience can be offered to our visitors," Sitharaman said.
In a first, Sitharaman informed of setting up of a tribal museum in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
The Finance Minister, talking about setting up a maritime museum near Ahmedabad said, "I spoke about the Sindhu Saraswati civilization. A maritime museum would be set up at Lothal near Ahemedabad in Gujarat which is a Harappan age maritime site by the Ministry of Shipping." She proposed to provide Rs 3,150 crore for Ministry of Culture for the year 2020-21.
Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Parliamentarians while presenting the Budget that India has moved from the rank 65 in 2014 to rank 34 in 2019 in the travel and tourism competitive index which is the WEF's index. She also said that foreign exchange earnings grew 7.4 per cent to 1.88 lakh crores for the period Jan-Nov 2019 from 1.75 lakh crores.
The Union Minister urged the states to play a major role in developing the tourism sector of the country by developing a roadmap for certain identified destinations and to formulate financial plans during the year 2021. These plans by the state governments would be given specified grants by the Centre in the year 2020-21. Sitharaman allocated Rs 2,500 crores for 2020-21 for the purpose of tourism production.