Tag Archives: Budget

No end to GST woes in Budget: PP Khanna

PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, said they had been looking forward to some GST relief in the Budget. “There has been no relief in GST in the Union Budget 2018-19, we had been looking forward to it. However, the budget offers some SOPs to tourism sector by announcing 10 prominent tourist sites to be developed into iconic ones and enhancing visitor experience in 110 Adarsh monuments under the ASI, with railways to have Wi-Fi and CCTV cameras on all trains and stations. Enhancement of sea plane activities and boosting aviation sector with the present 124 airports, the government plans to take this up five times to accommodate one billion trips per year. Focus on infrastructure, education, healthcare, creation of jobs has been highlighted in the budget, which is a good move.”

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HRAWI reclassifies 13 hotels under global norms

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) certified 13 hotels in Maharashtra under new norms which are more contemporary and global in standards as compared to existing ratings. As per the new norms, hotel properties will be classified, rated or graded under six categories listed as Budget, Classic, Premium, Luxury, Deluxe Luxury and Primo Luxury, and will be uniform for both domestic and foreign tourists. “The objective behind developing the IHQS is to educate our members on modern quality standards as well as reduce the burden of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). The Government can now focus on improving and promoting tourism, while, we from the industry, are doing our bit to support the initiative,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. The Shalimar Hotel, The Fern Residency, Golden Swan Beach Resort, The Emerald, Peninsula Grand Hotel, Sun-N-Sand Hotel, Holiday Inn Mumbai international Airport, Waterstones Hotel, T24 Residency, Hotel Transit, Hotel Meluha, Renaissance Mumbai Hotel and Convention Centre and Hyatt Place are among the first hotels to have been audited as per the new classification standards and have been officially certified as of October 25, 2017.

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Taxing outbound tourism will kill the industry

Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI, says, “We were very disappointed with the budget, especially when the government has been talking about tourism being a major pillar of growth. I don’t understand how it cannot be important when budget is concerned, except for the fact that the passports can now be applied in the GPOs.” He took a poignant view on the taxation. “While this is a good move on one side, on the other hand taxing outbound tourism would make us less competitive than people sitting overseas. This will kill the industry, which is making 20 million people travelling outside India, which is not using infrastructure available across the country and still generating revenue,” he adds.

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Allocate more funds for commerce ministry

Sarab Jit Singh, Vice-Chairman, FAITH, appreciated the Finance Minister for taking cognizance of FAITH’s recommendations. “The positive in today’s budget is acceptance and announcement by the Finance Minister of creating five special tourism zones, which was FAITH’s recommendation. Secondly, the announcement for Incredible India branding to be relaunched internationally and 35 per cent increase for its allocation is also a positive from our perspective,” he says. He goes on to explain the flip side. “The negative point according to me is the fact that the government is saying that exports are going down. However, tourism is the only industry which can now bring foreign exchange and generate employment, and the only incentives we were getting from were from the Ministry of Commerce, whose total allocation in the budget has now been reduced. Thus, it is a counterproductive feature. If the government wants to increase imports and wants growth, they cannot have lesser allocation for commerce ministry.” He contemplates on the status of tourism industry post this budget and says, “Tourism in the country is not growing for many years. We have lost for decades together; we have lost marketplace completely internationally; as well as we have lost to competing countries. Until the government moves all the aspects together with full force, we will not have results. I agree that the Prime Minister should talk to the industry directly.”

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PNR data to be submitted to Indian Customs

Albert Tjoeng, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific at International Air Transport Association (IATA),  takes heart from the Union Budget. “The Finance bill 2017 has added new provisions for the future introduction of submission of PNR data by airlines to the Indian Customs, he says. He adds that IATA hopes that the established global standards for transmission of PNRGOV data would be adhered to. “We would also urge that stakeholder consultations precede the development of any regulations detailing the form and data elements for this information,” he concludes.

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Tourism left to fend for itself

Homa Mistry, CEO, Trail Blazer Tours India, takes a very despair outlook to the omission of tourism and hospitality from the Union Budget 2017-18. “Tourism has been going through very tough times and we have realized we are on our own. I did not have any expectations from the government and as always the Budget did not have anything for the tourism and hospitality industry. I am just not surprised,” he says. Mistry remains cautious about the upcoming Goods and Services Tax. “We are however looking forward to the Good and Services Tax (GST) Bill which too shall be more of a bomb dropped on us,” he adds.

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Cabinet approves merger of rail budget with general budget

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposals of Ministry of Finance on certain landmark budgetary reforms relating to the merger of Railway budget with the General budget, the advancement of the date of Budget presentation from the last day of February and the merger of the Plan and the Non-Plan classification in the Budget and Accounts. All these changes will be put into effect simultaneously from the Budget 2017-18. The Railways will continue to maintain its distinct entity -as a departmentally run commercial undertaking as at present; Railways will retain their functional autonomy and delegation of financial powers etc. as per the existing guidelines; The existing financial arrangements will continue wherein Railways will meet all their revenue expenditure, including ordinary working expenses, pay and allowances and pensions etc. from their revenue receipts; The capital at charge of the Railways estimated at Rs.2.27 lakh crore on which annual dividend is paid by the Railways will be wiped off. Consequently, there will be no dividend liability for Railways from 2017-18 and Ministry of Railways will get Gross Budgetary support. This will also save Railways from the liability of payment of approximately Rs.9,700 crore annual dividend to the Government of India; The presentation of separate Railway budget started in the year 1924, and has continued after independence as a convention rather than under Constitutional provisions. The merger would bring the affairs of the Railways to centre stage and present a holistic picture of the financial position of the Government. The merger is also expected to reduce the procedural requirements and instead bring into focus, the aspects of delivery and good governance. Consequent to the merger, the appropriations for Railways will form part of …

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Airport development a welcome move

E.M. Najeeb, Chairman and MD, Air Travel Enterprise Group, says, “Union Budget 2016 is a welcome move and a very mature one by the Finance Minister. While the details are awaited, we are very positive and would really appreciate that the infrastructure allotment will include development in the tourism circuit. I welcome the focus on aviation industry and development of airports, which has been mentioned in the budget. The budget focused on social, agriculture, education, infrastructure and railway, and it scores seven out of ten for me.”

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