Patna: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has lashed out at the Bihar government for “failing” to tap its tourism potential due to a lack of planning and professional approach.
In its latest report, the CAG pointed out that the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation Limited (BSTDC) failed to meet the challenges despite immense tourist potential.
It recommended the formation of a state tourism policy and the preparation of a long-term perspective with clear targets.
“Though tourism is recognised as an industry, the government has not laid down any tourism policy for the state,” the CAG report tabled in the state Assembly last week said.
Despite a 52.76% increase in tourist inflow in 2008-09 from 2004-05, the percentage of tourists availing the company’s accommodation facilities remained abysmally low in the range of 0.43-0.51% for domestic tourists and 0.60-3.73% for foreign tourists.
Efforts should be made to infuse professionalism in management with a view to provide qualitative services,it said.
It also advised the state to undertake serious efforts to improve the process involved in planning and execution of infrastructure projects with an aim to avoid procedural delays and complete the projects in due time, it said.
Further, the report said that the targeted occupancy level of 60% could not be achieved in almost all the hotels between 2004-05 and 2008-09.
The occupancy target was never reviewed by the board and further non-achievement of the minimum targeted occupancy levels resulted in a potential loss of revenue of Rs5.15 crore in 2004-09, the CAG report highlights.
The corporation receives fund from the ministry of tourism, Centre and the state government for development of infrastructure.
The utilisation percentage of available funds ranged between a dismal 1.34% and 23.52%, it said.
Despite availability of funds, the company failed to commence projects.