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Tuesday, 02 July, 2019, 11 : 30 AM [IST]

Tourism Ministry hopes a GST cut on hotel rooms soon

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is hoping a GST cut in luxury hotel room tariff soon. The Ministry is hoping a 10% cut from the current 28% on tariff above INR 7,500 to 18% in the next GST Council meeting itself.  Indicating this at a Tourism Investment meet organised by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FICCI), Suman Billa, Joint Secretary – Tourism, Government of India said that there is a realisation in the government that the higher GST is not delivering much revenue to the government, but instead creating bad optics for the destination. 

Giving a government perspective to the progress of investment in the tourism sector, Billa said that private sector investment has not kept pace with the government investments in the sector in the last five years.  The government has spent an estimated INR 6,500 cr in the tourism sector through two pilot schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD. Out of the 77 infrastructure development projects approved and sanctioned under those two schemes, 44 of them have already been completed and the rest are in different stages of completion, he said.
Billa said that the Tourism Ministry has identified the issues that are hampering private sector investment in the sector and trying to address them as part of the 100-day programme of the government. Considering the challenges faced by investors in getting long-term finances for their projects, Billa said that the government has started pushing with the RBI for reopening and reintroducing infrastructure benefits under the harmonised list of lending. He said that the scheme which came into force in 2013 had a sunset close which lapsed in 2016. He said that the Tourism Ministry is trying to convince the RBI to reopen the scheme.  
Billa said that an estimated 50,000 hotel rooms are stuck due to debt related issues across the country and therefore, reopening of the financing scheme would help those project owners to complete their projects. 
A report on Indian Tourism Infrastructure – Investment Opportunities & Challenges was released on the occasion.

Odisha Tourism Minister, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Dr Jyotsna Suri, CMD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, among others spoke at the inaugural session of the 5th Annual Tourism Investors Meet.

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