Uttar Pradesh to invite firms to use CSR funds for installation of Ram statue in Ayodhya: Report
The state government has reportedly opened up 86 tourism projects worth Rs 2,275 crore in 10 towns.
The Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is looking to bring in companies’ corporate social responsibility funds to build a 100-metre-tall statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, The Economic Times reported on Thursday.
The state government has opened up 86 tourism projects worth Rs 2,725 crore in 10 towns. In a 26-page booklet, the state government has invited companies to spend their mandatory 2% of net profit under CSR for investment. The cost of installing the Ram statue will be around Rs 330 crore.
“We are still to publicise this... but it is part of our new policy,” Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary (Tourism) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told The Economic Times.
Other projects include the development of the Gorakhnath temple at a cost of Rs 45 crore, redevelopment of the route around Govardhan Hill in Mathura, revamp of the Panchkoshi Parikrama route in Varanasi, and the development of “Navyu Ayodhya” (New Ayodhya) on the banks of the Saryu river, the report added.
The Samajawadi Party criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s government plans and said Adityanath was redefining social responsibility. “Ultimately business houses get tax exemptions under CSR, so it is the common man who is paying for these statues,” Samajwadi Party spokesperson Juhi Singh told NDTV. “In the past, such funds have been used for schools, for the welfare of women and children.”
In the financial year 2016-’17, public sector oil companies, including Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India Limited, had contributed over Rs 121 crore for the construction of a huge statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat, Mint had reported in October.