Minister to Propose New Tax Breaks for Tourism Industry

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Jun. 23 – India’s Tourism Minister, Kumari Selja, will be submitting a set of proposals for industry tax breaks and exemptions to the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee later this week.

The proposal includes a ten-year tax break for new hotels, service tax and excise duty exemptions and allowing hotels to be considered as infrastructure along with airports, sea ports and railways.

“I met with industry stakeholders and will be taking up their demands to the finance minister,” Mr. Selja told the Times of India.

Like the rest of the world, India’s tourism industry has not been doing well because of the global economic crisis which was further aggravated by the tourism fallout caused by the Mumbai terrorist attacks last November.

Mr. Selja is also including proposals to trim import duty on adventure sports equipment,  excise duty on food preparations and export status for earnings of inbound tour operators.

The proposals hope to expedite investments in the hotel industry and address the shortage. More importantly, it should boost the industry when it brings in Rs 50,000 crore needed to fund the construction of more for hotels in the next 4 years.