A MENTOR, AN INTELLECTUAL & HUMANITARIAN- WITH PASSION FOR WORK, OPTIMISTIC IDEOLOGY AND ACTIVE INTERACTION - ADMIRED BY MANY AND INSPIRING OTHERS.

Dr Rajat Bhargava has distinguished Academic Excellence. He has M.S. Tech (IIT), Ph.D. in Geo-Engineering, MBA (Finance), MPA, MPhil, & LLB.

Dr Rajat Bhargava joined the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1990. Since then, Dr Rajat Bhargava has successfully assumed several portfolios both in Centre and the State.

Bhargava headed the Budget Division in Government of India and had the distinction of preparing 5 Union Budgets as also preparing 2 Delhi, 7 Jharkhand Budgets each. He worked with three successive Finance Ministers including Shri Arun Jaitley. Presently, he holds the portfolio of Spl. Chief Secretary to Government, Revenue (Excise & Registration and Stamps) & YAT&C (Tourism, Culture, Museum & Archaeology) in the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Since
1990

News & Bulletin

The Spl Chief Secretary to Government, Revenue (excise, R&S) has conducted a Review meeting on Registrations & Stamps Department on 08.72.2022, in the Conference Hall , 4th Block, AP. Secretariat, with the C&IG, R&S, Additional IG, Joint IGs, all DIGS and DRs in the State.

During the meeting the Spl CS has identified the Districts which are achieved targets below 85Vo and exhorted the DRs to strive hard by exploring all possible steps to achieve 100o/o target fixed by the Government, and share good growth in Revenue mobilisation of Minimum 20olo over last year collection.

The Spl CS has appraised the need of establishment of Premium Registration centres and also directed to identify suitable buildings above all places by 37.72.2022 at Kakinada, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Tirupathi, Kadapa, Kurnool, Srikakulam and make arrangements to deliver corruption free and hassle free services by the Department and ensure starting of services at

Visakhapatnam not later than 31.12.2022

He has also directed the DRs and DIGS to hold Grama sabhas and appraise the benefits of Registrations to the Public at Village/ Ward Secretariats, in their jurisdiction keeping in view the vision of Hon’ble CM to bring administration to the door steps of the people and give wide spread publicity through pamphlets and booklets on Registration procedures and services available at Village & Ward Secretariats. He has also directed to utilise the Technology / Social Media for better functioning of the Department and also share the information with the public.

The Spl CS has reviewed the delivery of Registration services at 2000 Village Secretariats and directed the DRs to visit atleat one Village Secretariat in their jurisdiction, in a month and furnish report to C&IG. Further directed to ensure connectivity to discharge hassle-free service.

Pending Chit Fund cases have been reviewed and he has directed the DRsto be more cautious in granting of permissions to Chit Fund Companies for Business and report discrepancies noticed, if any to C&IG, immediately, The Spl Cs has also emphasised the need of Stamp Act for the State and directed the C&IG to send proposals.

The Spl CS has also observed that many sub-Registrar offices in the State are in old private Buildings and directed to take immediate steps for relocation of the offices to new buildings with good ambiance and ample waiting space for public.

He has also instructed the DRs and DIGS to personally monitor the Digitalisation of Old records in their Jurisdiction.

It is further brought out that following Districts at the top in percentage wise collections:

  1. Manyam
  2. Rayachoti
  3. Nellore
  4. Narasaraopet

In terms of net collections, 1. Visakhapatnam 2. NTR District 3. Guntur are in top position

In terms of growth in documents, 1, Nellore 2. Sri Balaji 3, cuntur 4. Kakinada are in top position

 

Date:27.09.2022

Press Note

Foster Tourism; 2023 year of Tourism Hon’ble Chief Minister releases Geo portal based Information System

 Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy today launched Celebration for “World Tourism Day 2022”.

 Launched Geo Portal based Tourism Information System.

 He also released a brochure on the “Diverse Festivities of Andhra Pradesh

 Hon’ble Chief Minister declared that 2023 shall be declared as “Visit Andhra Pradesh – 2023” year.

 The Chief Minister also interacted with the Tribal Dhimsa dancers from Araku.

Web GIS Portal for Tourism Information – Tourism Asset Management – Decision Support System

Andhra Pradesh known for its rich Natural, Cultural, Historical & Religious heritage and other tourist attractions and also renowned for its fiery cuisine and hospitable people. The state has been a popular destination for domestic tourists but unfortunately not for foreign tourists (except for Tirumala & Puttaparthi).

With a view to maximize the tourism revenue, increase visibility of various destinations and efficiently manage the assets, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APT) proposes development of a Web GIS Portal for Tourism Information, Tourism Asset Management and Decision Support System. Web GIS Portals are used for marketing and promotion of tourism and have the potential to improve -– Destination management activities like planning, development, marketing, promotion, delivery, coordination and monitoring


– Tourism-related entrepreneurship and related activities                                                                                                                                                – Promotion of local arts and crafts industry including bidriware, brassworks, traditional toy making, textile making etc.
– Direct promotion and commercialization of local tourism offerings in international markets reducing dependence on big foreign intermediaries. Web GIS Portal will map all the tourism properties and destinations in Andhra Pradesh in one place. The benefits of this proposal are three fold.

1. Tourism Information – Tourists can better plan their trips with useful information like distance between places, commute options, hotel accommodations and neighboring attractions. Access to this vital information online reduces the costs tourist) and promotion material (for the authorities). The managing for printing (for authorities can efficiently build on this collected base data and introduce innovative ways to update new destinations periodically, plan tourism circuits, introduce promotional build in transparency to the whole mechanism. 

The current tourism map (shown here) needs to be updated based on new
developments and this exercise made via Web GIS Portal would unlock huge potential and aid the state’s tourism sector.

2. Web GIS based Tourism Asset Management – Department of Tourism can easily track the inventory of the assets including land, hotels and restaurants using the Web GIS portal. The database enlists the sub-assets of each identified asset and provides details on location, area, amenities, utility status, structural health etc. This digital documentation will avoid the drawbacks in manual handling of asset information and aid in the efficient tracking of departmental assets, their management and ensure proper maintenance with respect to infrastructure enhancement.

The authorities will also be able to optimize allocation of assets to augment return on investments; and provide investment opportunities in PPP for further developing the industry as a vital cog in the State’s economy.

3. Web GIS based Spatial Decision Support System (DSS) –The portal will provide authorities a solid database to make key decisions, especially in tourism policy and infrastructure development. It will provide a transparent mechanism to track information on visitor movement, numbers, travel patterns and choice of stay. This raw data will enable identify and measure determinants that influence travel decisions allowing the authorities to profile growing areas of potential and tourism trends. The authorities can now measure the effects of marketing activities, initiatives and campaigns; monitor industry satisfaction of tourism operators.

In addition to the multiple benefits, the Web GIS portal will enhance the whole travel experience in the state by acting as a one stop solution for Smart management through integration with ERP platforms. This platform creates database of tourists, travel agencies, hotels, airlines and transportation companies. Multiple travel agencies (red bus for example) can share access to the system which will not just aid tourists but also generate revenue for the authority. Travel packages and online payments (PhonePay, Paytm, etc.). can all be managed through this portal.

HON’BLE CHIEF MINISTER DECLARED 2023 AS THE YEAR OF VISIT ANDHRA PRADESH “VISIT ANDHRA  PRADESH 2023”

Why this Campaign Visit Andhra Pradesh 2023

Andhra Pradesh, though having its rich Natural, Cultural, Historical & Religious heritage and other tourist attractions and capable of attracting many domestic and even more international tourists emphasizing on Nature, History, Mythology& Adventure Tourism activities has fell short in attracting the same. One of the reasons being lack of concerted campaign based approach.
• Through a campaign based program we create a buzz educate the world on opportunities in Andhra Pradesh.
• Unique campaign promoting Culture & Heritage.
• We would be the first state in India to do this kind of a promotion ever.

Brief on Campaign Promotion:

1. Campaign to focus Nationally & Internationally.
2. Connect Travel Media like Travel TV, Travel World online. Tourism breaking News, TTJ updates and ensure coverage to 4 lakh travel agents.
3. Campaign to connect with associations of ADTOI, TAAI, and IATO.
4. All Travel, Tourism and Hoteliers to carry the Logo “Visit AP 2023” as their signature in their mailers.
5. Promotion the Campaign through extensive Social media interactions.

“Visit Andhra Pradesh 2023” – What to come?

Tourism Department has come up with new Circuits, which will be promoted as part of the visit AP 2023.

1. The Tribal Circuits of AP
2. The Buddhism Circuit of AP.
3. Vizag as a Gateway destination to neighboring states like Orissa & Chhattisgarh – This strategy will help tourism to grow especially in bound tourism for all the three states.
4. Forts of Andhra Pradesh
5. The New defined Temple Tourism circuits of the state including shakthipeetas of Pithapuram and Draksharamam.
6. Caravan Tourism
7. Experiential Tourism to attract In bound Tourism.
8. Beaches of Andhra Pradesh
9. Heritage circuit of Andhra Pradesh
10. The Festivals of Andhra Pradesh
11. Food & Cruiser of A.P.

Own B2B Road shows by the Hoteliers and Agents of AP.

The Hotel Association and the travels Association shall be part of Road Shows, where they shall invite agents in respective cities for B2B meetings.
1″ Phase – Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Raipur
2′ Phase – Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bhopal 3″ Phase – Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Cochin
4″ Phase – Hyderabad, Delhi, Chandigarh

Dr. Rajat Bhargava
Spl. Chief Secretary to Govt.,
Tourism & Culture Dept.,

Special Chief Secretary (youth advancement, tourism and culture) Rajat Bhargava on Thursday reviewed the arrangements being made for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhimavaram on July 4.

He told the media that Mr. Modi was scheduled to participate in the 125th  birth anniversary celebrations of revolutionary freedom fighter Alluri Sitharama Raju as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The Prime Minister would unveil a 30-foot statue of Alluri Sitarama Raju at S.R. Nagar in Bhimavaram.

The ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ was aimed at spreading awareness about the freedom movement and leaders such as Alluri Sitarama Raju who fought valiant battles against the British and the sacrifices made by them in the course of the struggle for independence, Mr. Bhargava said.

The Special Chief Secretary said that preparations were going on in a full swing for Mr. Modi’s visit. “Four helipads are being readied. The Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel are taking care of the security measures. The West Godavari police have tightened the security,” said Mr. Bhargava.

Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy and other dignitaries are also scheduled to attend the event.

State bags ‘Best Tourism Policy’ award

‘Government identified tourism sector as one of the key growth engines’

Andhra Pradesh has bagged an award for its “Best Tourism Policy”. The award was presented by the Tour and Travels’ Association at a function organised in virtual mode.

At a press conference, Special Chief Secretary, Youth Advancement, Tourism and Culture Rajat Bhargava complimented the tourism team and attributed the achievement to Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s vision.

Stating that the government had identified the tourism sector as one of the key growth engines, he said the new AP Tourism Policy was a path-breaking one in many ways.

Mr. Bhargava said the policy had been crafted keeping in mind the ever-changing nature of tourism, the strengths and advantages in the State, the interests of large-scale and small-scale investors, and all other stakeholders. It offered some of the best incentives, attractive terms for land allotment and proposed initiatives that would position the State as a premier world-class tourism destination with robust infrastructure.

He said Andhra Pradesh was a land of abundant tourism potential, as the State was blessed with the country’s second longest coastline (974 Km), perennial rivers, scenic backwaters, hills and forests, ancient temples and Buddhist sites, besides a vibrant and rich culture and heritage. The government was committed to the socio-economic development of the State and regarded the tourism sector as one of the key growth engines for the economy of the State and crucial for employment generation

The main objectives of the policy were to create a conducive environment for co-creation of diverse tourism products and experiences and develop 11 themes of tourism including Rural Tourism, Heritage Tourism, Buddhist Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Beach and Water Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Tourism, Religious Tourism, Cuisine Tourism, Wellness Tourism, MICE Tourism and Medical Tourism.

“We want to provide best quality experience at all touch points to the tourists visiting the state and promote responsible tourism practices among all tourism stakeholders,” Mr Bhargava said, adding that the idea was to position the state as a preferred tourism destination nationally and globally.

He said the incentives like 100 % waiver of land use conversion charge, 100 % reimbursement of stamp duty and fixed cost power reimbursement to new tourism units at Rs. 2 per unit for a period of five years from COD were some of the best in the country.

 

Mr. Bhargava said a rationalized land lease policy was bound to attract investors to the state.

New PCPIR policy moots central funding for infrastructure

The failed PCPIR policy 2007, is being completely overhauled, now making the Centre the main driver to develop India as a global hub for petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals processing and manufacturing.

The failed PCPIR policy 2007, is being completely overhauled, now making the Centre the main driver to develop India as a global hub for petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals processing and manufacturing by attracting an investment of Rs 20 lakh crore by 2035.

The very concept of Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) is being redrawn in the proposed new policy 2020-35 wherein the size of each investment region will be drastically cut down from 250 sq km to 50 sq km, with a specific cluster integration strategy.

Dovetailing the PCPIRs with the National Infrastructure Pipeline could give a major push as otherwise the huge upfront capital costs did not let the proposed projects take off under the policy framed in 2007.

Under the new policy, the Centre is expected to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of up to 20 per cent for infrastructure projects in PCPIRs. It may also provide additional budgetary allocation of 20 per cent for smart and sustainable systems like Zero Liquid Discharge-based Common Effluent Treatment Plant, Integrated Solid Waste Management, real-time environmental monitoring systems and emergency response systems.

The VGF could enable each project to catalyse around Rs 2 lakh crore additionally. A high-level committee, headed by the Andhra Pradesh government’s Special Chief Secretary Rajat Bhargava, drafted the new PCPIR Policy 2020-35 and presented it recently to the Union Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals.

Unlike the PCPIR Policy-2007 that thrust the burden on state governments to develop the petroleum investment regions in their respective states, the new policy mandates the central government to shoulder the bulk of it. As the Centre envisages implementing infrastructure projects worth Rs 100 lakh crore over the next five years, the Committee suggested that it ensure priority funding of PCPIR projects under the National Infrastructure Pipeline to improve financing options.

It recommended that a special provision be made under NIP to prioritise PCPIR projects and reserve necessary funding for their implementation. The panel, in its report, suggested that the Centre develop a strategy for attracting anchor projects for each of the existing PCPIRs and any proposed new ones.

It recommended that the Centre assist the state governments in identifying an anchor unit for every PCPIR that will act as a catalyst for development of other projects.

The Committee, which had the Principal Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and the Secretary of Odisha government as members, recommended: “The Government of India shall provide VGF for state-owned companies or joint venture firms in the oil and gas sector to set up anchor projects in each PCPIR. It shall provide Project Design and Management Consultancy (PDMC) Fund of Rs 15 crore to each PCPIR to provide funding to state governments for availing technical assistance for master planning, detailed engineering and project management consultancy.”

The Committee also recommended that the central government develop a centre for manufacturing excellence in each PCPIR. “We require at least 10 projects in the next 10 years to grow as an industrial power. The Centre and the states should work as a team to ensure financial closure for these large projects,” Rajat Bhargava, who headed the high-level committee, told PTI.

The whole idea, he said, was to rejuvenate investments in PCPIRs through policy interventions and help in building an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). Under the new PCPIR Policy 2020-35, it has been targeted to attract a combined investment of Rs 10 lakh crore by the year 2025, Rs 15 lakh crore by 2030 and Rs 20 lakh crore by 2035 in all the PCPIRs across the country.

Under the 2007 Policy, four PCPIRs were proposed at Dahej (Gujarat), Vishakhapatnam-Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Paradip (Odisha) and Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu). However, due to a wide range of issues, ranging from overall infrastructure development to project financing, attracting investment to Visakhapatnam-Kakinada, Paradip and Cuddalore has been challenging, while Dahej succeeded in drawing over Rs 40,000 crore.

But now, the Tamil Nadu government scrapped the Cuddalore PCPIR following protests from the local farmers. The AP government sought to revive the Visakhapatnam- Kakinada PCPIR project last year and lined up two big-ticket projects as anchor tenants at Kakinada with an aggregate investment of over USD 15.72 billion.

As a new policy is on the anvil, the existing PCPIRs will now be required to revise their Development Plans (DPs) in accordance with the proposed interventions.

Andhra Pradesh named as member of Nation Digital Tourism Task Force

AMARAVATI: The central government has nominated Andhra Pradesh as member of Task Force for National Digital Tourism Mission (NDTM) constituted by the Ministry of Tourism.

The task force has been formed for the augmentation of digitalization in the tourism sector and to enhance opportunities for tourism enterprises to expand their market reach, growth, operational efficiencies and to sharpen their competitive edge.

“It is a privilege to get nominated as a member state in the task force,” said special chief secretary Dr Rajat Bhargava.

Speaking to the media in Amaravati on Wednesday, Dr Bhargava said that the objective of setting up of task force is to identify key challenges and opportunities for digitalization in travel, hotels, catering and other service sectors co-related with tourism, also to create awareness on digitalization of tourism amid sub sectors.

He said that task force has to submit a report within three months with a specific agenda.

Dr Bhargava explained that task force has to describe the context and justification for the National Digital Tourism Mission, define the mission, vision, objectives and over all scope of the initiative.

“It will also identify major stakeholders of tourism ecosystem for digital mission, domain principles and technology principles,” said Dr Bhargava.

Dr Bhargava said that tourism, which is one of the key growth engine for development, has been drastically effected with the outbreak of Covid-19. In this context, it is a progressive initiative by the Centre to move towards the digitalization of tourism as it would provide an opportunity to boost tourism across all segments.

The Cabinet on Thursday approved 10 mega tourism projects, including luxury resorts, star hotels and spiritual tourism projects, at various locations in the State.

“The projects are planned with an expected investment of more than Rs.2,800 crore, and will create employment opportunities for about 48,000 people,” said Special Chief Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Rajat Bhargava.

“Tourism contributes to about 7% to the GSDP of Andhra Pradesh and is one of the most important sectors to bring investments and generate employment, while enabling growth of agriculture, transport, handloom and consumer goods due to its strong backward linkages,” Mr. Bhargava said in a statement.

Referring to the State Tourism Policy, he said it offered best-in-class incentives for development of tourism establishments.

He said the 10 proposed projects of hotels and resorts were a mix of PPP and private investments. They included luxury resorts with 7-Star facilities by the Oberoi Group.

The group proposes to develop a resort with 300 independent villas at Annavaram village of Bheemunipatnam mandal in Visakhapatnam district in over 40 acres (Rs.350 crore); a resort with 100 independent villas at Peruru in Tirupati in over 20 acres (Rs.250 crore); 120 independent villas at Gandikota of Jammalamadugu mandal in Kadapa district in 50 acres (Rs.250 crore); 120 villas at Horsely Hills of B. Kothakota mandal in Chittoor district in 21 acres (Rs.250 crore); and 150 villas at Pichukalanka of Atreyapuram mandal in East Godavari district in 30 acres (Rs.250 crore).

Mega spiritual centre

A mega spiritual centre and a tourist base camp was proposed to be developed at Penukonda in Anantapur district by ISKCON Charities.

“It is being designed to attract footfall of more than 10,000 pilgrims every month, and the estimated cost of the project is ₹100 crore. It will come up in an area of 75 acres,” said Mr. Bhargava.

 

Besides, the Cabinet also approved grant of incentives for star hotels under ‘Hyatt’ and ‘Taj’ brands in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.

“Today is an important day for AP Tourism and the proposed projects will facilitate more investments in the sector,” he said.

Andhra Pradesh Eyeing Virtual Tours To Kickstart Tourism Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Andhra Pradesh is currently looking at popularising the virtual tours of various important tourist destinations in the state, said Special Chief Secretary.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the tourism industry across the globe, Andhra Pradesh is currently looking at popularizing the virtual tours of various important tourist destinations in the state, said Special Chief Secretary of Tourism and Culture, Rajat Bhargava on October 21. As per PTI report, while most experiences are being limited to being virtual, Andhra Pradesh is also hoping to keep up with the trends of the tourism industry amid the global health crisis. He reportedly also said that the development of rural tourism while keeping in mind the “safe and experimental in nature” is also being explored by the state government.

Addressing a virtual interactive virtual session with the members of the national tourism committee of FICCI, Bhargava said that even though hotels and other such establishments have resumed services after lockdown, the tourist turnout has not been encouraging. With millions of cases still active across the globe, Bhargava acknowledged that aggressive marketing is required for the ‘revival of tourism’.

“The path to revival (of tourism) will involve building a perception of safe tourism in the minds of the tourists. Adjoining states will have to work together to ensure the free flow of tourists across borders,” the Special Chief Secretary said.

Rajat Bhargava also called for a “coordinated effort” between the stakeholders, Central government and the state government to kickstart the tourism industry. The Special Chief Secretary also noted that Andhra Pradesh has the potential of developing a coastline and position itself as a high-end luxury beach tourism destination.

He also indicated on state developing a new tourism policy that would be flexible, aggressive and will address the ongoing issues. “The tourism department has identified certain high potential locations for the development of hotels and luxury resorts in the state,” he said. Even though the talks are still in the process, if approved, travelers across the world would be able to enjoy the serenity of Andhra Pradesh’s tourist spots.

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