Himachal firms get small pie in tourism publicity budgets

Shimla: Given the mandate of promoting tourism in Himachal, the tourism department here, with a big budget for publicity, has failed to provide much work to advertising and printing firms based in the state.

While advertising and printing companies from from Delhi, Chandigarh and Maharashtra has found favour with the tourism department, Himachal based firms who are said to have approached the government were denied work on the grounds that they lacked hi-tech technology and expertise to carry out the job.

Departmental records for 2011-12 showed that an amount of Rs 4,34,600 was spent for printing of Monal, a tourism magazine published by the department, Rs 1,26,161 was spent on printing a table calendar and Rs 3,19,200 for printing of wall calendars.

For publishing of other publicity material the department spent Rs 46,30,324 and Rs 6,64,000 for printing of posters in 2011.

In 2012-13, Rs 1,14,720 was spent on table calendar, Rs 2,67,000 on wall calendar and Rs 4,20,000 on printing and publishing of Monal magazine.

Over the last three years Rs 72,28,205 has been spent on the printing of different kind of publicity material, the records revealed.

Much of the material was got printed at presses based outside Himachal, even to the extent that digital compact disks, sticker, stationary kit folders were purchased from the outside the state, say sources.

When contacted Subhasish Panda, director tourism maintained, “work has been awarded on the base of technology and rates.”

Saurabh Chauhan, an independent journalist, has 10 years of experience in Print and Digital Media. He has written on a variety of issues including women’s rights, environment, crime, governance, finance and politics at Shimla, Chandigarh and Lucknow. Saurabh is currently based in Lucknow.

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