Kashmir hoteliers demand special package, industry power tariff

A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club led by its president MushtaqChaya met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Monday.

Chaya, according to an official spokesperson, apprised the governor about various issues of the hotel owners in Kashmir and requested for a suitable package to bring them out of the difficult financial situation. He also sought charging electricity tariff at par with that of the Industrial sector and concessions in GST.

Governor has directed Arun Kumar Mehta, Principal Secretary Finance, to give due consideration to the demands put forth by the hoteliers.

According to a separate statement issued by the JKHC, Chaya during the meeting informed the governor that tourism industry in Kashmir was at the verge of collapse and near closure. “For last almost three years we are running cash losses and were left with no resources to pump into the establishments. Hoteliers have been keeping the hotels open against all odds. The current year has shown depressing and disappointing tourist foot fall that it had become impossible for them to keep the hotels open and have the employees on board,” Chaya said according the JKHC statement.

It also said that Kashmir tourism used to be exempted from the Taxes, however, since the extension of GST the overall tourism industry has been hit by the rise in costs and prices at hotels, guest houses, houseboats, restaurants and even the tour operator services. Even after the several promises made by government and concerned, at state level, we have not been given any relaxation of tax waiver to help and promote the tourism sector in most exasperating times where the business has gone down highly.

The delegation also brought into the notice of the governor the issue of electric tariff. It said the tariff was still a pain to the hoteliers as the benefits which are extended to the small scale industry have not been given effect for hotel industry as the order issued in this behalf, in 2018, was quite clear that hotel industry will be treated at par for electricity tariff as like that of small scale industry.