Scheme for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits
Under this Central Financial Assistance scheme the Ministry of Tourism Government of India has been extending assistance to States for development of tourism infrastructure. Experience has shown that in the past funds under the CFA have been used to fund a large number of small isolated projects, spread  throughout the length and breadth of the country resulting in the resources being spread very thinly. Therefore, in order to provide quick and substantial impact, during the 10th Five Year Plan, this new scheme of Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits have been taken up. The objective of the scheme is to identify tourist circuits in the country on an annual basis, and develop them to international standards. The aim is to provide all infrastructure facilities required by the tourists within these circuits. The Ministry of Tourism  aim at convergence of resources and expertise through coordinated action with States/UTs and private sector.

Definition of a Circuit:
A tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations are located such that none of these are in the same town, village or city. At the same time they are not separated by a large distance such that a tourist would not like to cover them in a sequence. It should have well defined entry and exist points. A tourist who enters at the entry point should get motivated to visit all the places identified on the circuit. The objective of having a tourist circuit is to increase the total number of visits to all the destinations on the circuit on one hand and to provide to the tourist the attraction of all the destinations located on the circuit.

Identification of the Circuit:The Circuit to be taken up will be identified by the Ministry of Tourism at the beginning of each year, in consultation with the State Government. While selecting the Circuit, the tourism potential of the places included would be borne in mind. It will be ensured that a circuit is identified for each State/UT in the full Plan period. A circuit could be limited to a State or it could be a regional circuit covering more than a State/UT. The identification of the project, the implementation agency, and the mode of channelisation of funds would be done in consultation with the State Government/UT Administration. However, for projects in the ‘protected areas’ under ASI, the implementing agency would be ASI/CPWD or any other agency to be decided by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism would bear 100% of the project cost (Capital cost only, except for Refurbishment of Monuments where it would be 66:33 i.e. CFA of 66%) based on the project plan and estimates submitted, excluding the items which are the exclusive responsibility of the State Governments as listed in para 3. The maximum amount that could be sanctioned under this scheme would be Rs. 8.00 crores.

Funding Pattern:All activities agreed to by the Ministry of Tourism will be funded on 100% basis i.e. 100% of the capital cost would be borne by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, subject to the ceiling of Rs. 8 crores (except, for refurbishment of Monuments where CFA would be 66%). However the State/UT Governments will be fully responsible for the following components of the project.
  • Implementation of rehabilitation package, where shifting of dwelling or commercial units is required. However the Government of India would provide assistance for construction of Tourist reception centers including shopping complexes to house the displaced shops.
  • Maintenance and management of the assets created.
  • Any other item decided by the High Power Committee.
  • External infrastructure, like water supply, Electricity and Roads.
  • Making the land available for development.
Permissible Activities: The following works may be taken up under the Scheme:
  • Improvement of the surroundings of the destination. This would include activities like landscaping, development of parks, fencing, compound wall etc.
  • Illumination of the Tourist destination and the area around the SEL Shows etc.
  • Providing for improvement in solid waste management and sewerage management.
  • Construction of budget accommodation, wayside amenities.
  • Procurement of equipment directly related to tourism, like water sports, adventure sports, eco-friendly modes of transport for moving within the tourism zone.
  • Construction of public buildings which are required to be displaced because of implementation of the master plan.
  • Refurbishment of the monuments.
  • Signages.
  • Tourist arrival centers/reception centers/interpretation centers.
  • Other work/activities directly related to tourism.
Release of Financial Assistance:On sanction of a work, the first installment of 30% of the approved CFA will be released, and the second installment of 50% will be released on receipt of utilization certificate of the first installment. The balance would be released on completion of the work.
 
Codal Formalities:The executing agency shall follow all codal formalities while awarding contracts and procurement of equipments an ensure complete transparency in its transactions.
 
Management of Assets Created:The infrastructure and assets created will be maintained and managed by the State Government/UT Administration of their agencies with no financial commitment to Government of India, except for those assets which are created in the ‘protected areas’ of ASI.
 
Prescription of the Schedule of Rates:While executing the works, the executing agency shall follow the Schedule of rates prescribed by the CPWD or the State PWD.
 
Submission of the Utilization Certificates:The executing agency shall furnish the utilization certificate through the State Government for release of second instalment, a completion certificate has also to be furnished through the State Government before the release of the final installment. In case the works are executed by a Central Agency in a ‘protected area the UC would be obtained from them directly.
 
Monitoring Committee:A State level monitoring committee would be set up under the Chairmanship of the respective Secretary (Tourism) of the State Government. The Committee would comprise a nominee of the Ministry. of Tourism of Government India, and a nominee of the executing agency.