29th March, 2016
To, All Members,
Sub: Regarding Proposed Increase in ASI Monuments Entry Fees
Greetings from IATO!
As you are aware, for the last 7 months, IATO is fully seized with the matter regarding increase in entry fees for ASI monuments. Earlier this increase was to be made with effect from 01 November 2015, but IATO had very strongly objected to such an exorbitant increase and we were successful in getting this increase deferred till 1st April 2016.
Thereafter, we have been pleading with the Hon’ble Minister for Tourism and Culture (IC), Dr. Mahesh Sharma that IATO is not against the increase but it should be rational and to be increased in a phased manner and not in one go. However, ASI was adamant to increase the entry fees by 300 percent as recommended by CAG as the increase has not been made for over 10 years.
We have had series of meetings with Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Secretary (Culture), Secretary (Tourism), Director General (ASI), Additional Director General (ASI), Joint Secretary (Tourism) and tried to impress upon them that there is no substantial increase in the international tourist arrivals and in fact there is downfall in international tourist arrivals (leisure travelers) and if ASI monument fee is increased exorbitantly, it will give a big blow and great setback for the Indian Tourism Industry, which is already suffering due to global economic slowdown and negative publicity.
Yesterday, the IATO Executive Committee had called on the Hon’ble Dr. Mahesh Sharma in his office where Mr. Vinod Zutshi - Secretary (Tourism), Mr. Narendra Kumar Sinha -Secretary (Culture), Dr. Rakesh Tewari - DG (ASI), Mr. Navneet Soni – OSD to Minister of Culture, Mr. B. Purushottam - PS to Hon’ble Minister for Tourism & Culture, Mr. Suman Billa- Joint Secretary (Tourism) and many other senior officials were present. From IATO, Mr. Subhash Goyal, Mr. Pronab Sarkar, Mr. Ravi Gosain, Mr. Rajiv Mehra, Mr. Raj Bajaj, Mr. Rajnish Kaistha, Mr. Ramesh Wattal and Mr. Zia Siddiqui were present in the meeting. The first meeting was called at 1630 hrs and we strongly opposed the increase and requested that maximum increase should be 50% of the proposed hike and also sufficient advance notice should be given. Also we requested the Hon’ble Minister that this decision is long pending and it needs to be finalized today only. In the meeting also ASI was still trying to justify the increase of 300 percent.
After listening to our presentation and viewpoints, we were asked to wait outside as they wanted to have their internal meeting to discuss on the matter and take a final decision on same day.
IATO EC was again called at 7 pm and about 8 pm we were called by the Hon’ble Minister inside his chamber and we were informed of the final decision taken by them which are as follows:- -
• For Category B Monuments, there will be increase from Rs. 100/- to Rs. 200/- only instead of Rs. 300. However, a Premium ticket will be introduced of Rs. 300/- with some value additions.
• Similarly for Category A monuments, there will be increase from Rs. 250/- to Rs. 500/- only instead of Rs. 750/-. Premium ticket will cost Rs. 750/- with similar value additions.
• The above new rates will be effective from 1st April 2016.
• We have been assured by the Hon’ble Minister that at All the ASI monuments, by 15th of April 2016, there will be a separate counter and queue to enter at all the ASI monuments for those having ticket in category A of Rs. 500 and above and in category B of Rs. 200 and above.
• Some other facilities include clean toilets and some fast food outlets to be introduced on PPP model.
A notification with all the minute details in this regard was supposed to be signed yesterday evening by ASI immediately after the meeting and we expect to receive the same today. We shall circulate the copy of notification, as soon as we get the same. Till late yesterday evening, many of the other points were also discussed with the Hon’ble Minister and he has assured us that speedy decisions will be taken on all such pending issues.
On behalf of the EC, I would like to thank you for your patience and having trusted us.
Thanking you and with best regards,