Make Kashmir a tax free destination: Hoteliers
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Feb 22: A joint delegation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of Kashmir, Jammu and Jammu Pratham Vikas Mandal, called on Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora and projected the demands and problems of those associated with the hospitality sector.
The delegation pleaded for grant of a complete VAT Tax holiday and making Kashmir a tax free destination.
They also sought further extension of service tax exemption period to Hotels and Restaurants for next five years, saying that this would lead to better growth of tourism industry in the state.
The delegation apprised the Minister that in Himachal Pardesh, where the tourist arrivals are nearly 1 crore, the VAT on food is just 4 per cent. They said Kashmir, which has not even crossed the benchmark figure of 7.73 lakh recorded in 1988, the last peaceful year, needs to be declared as a tax free destination for the tourists for reviving this vital sector here .
The deputationists pleaded the government to extend complete industrial benefits, including the benefit of power tariff to Hotel and Restaurant segment of tourism industry, besides ensuring early introduction of conflict or investment insurance.
Responding to the demands, the Minister, according to an official statement, said that tourism in the state being one of the major economic activities is receiving focused attention of the government.
He said Jammu and Kashmir possesses vast tourism potential adding that the endeavours of the government is to explore it fully by initiating various measures, which among others include incentives to entrepreneurs for establishing self employment ventures.
Jora assured the deputationists that government would take all necessary steps to provide succour to the people associated with tourism industry. He said the effort of the government is to showcase the varied tourism potential of the state in every part of the country and world over. He said that various road shows, exhibitions, publicity campaigns have been organized in other states to aware the people about the improved situation in the valley. He hoped that state would witness a large number of tourist influx during this year thus further raising the tourist graph of the state.
Making a mention of losses caused to the hotel and restaurant industry and other trades during last two decades of turmoil especially, the cycle of summer unrest in the Valley during last three years, the delegation urged upon the Minister to initiate necessary steps to bring out the tourism industry from the present ailing condition.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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