Naveen Kundu, Managing Director, Ebixcash- Travel & Holidays, has said that he has huge expectations from this budget and his request to the Finance Minister is to declare tourism sector as a priority sector for the next two years and offer it industry status. Also, he requested for tax refunds to domestic travellers who spend large amount of their vacation budgets in India. Other recommendations included budget for loans with rates of interests as offered to industry, with flexibility of re-structuring the loans at least twice due to the frequent lean cycles. “The government shall offer tariffs which are at par with the industry if not lower. Provide tax concession to hotels and resorts in India to boost demand for domestic tourism and inbound tourism. Provide tax subsidy to travel agents who promote inbound tourism (FOREX earning agencies) and offer them incentives on earning FOREX as exports sector. Create a budget to appoint several large PR companies globally to promote ‘Product India’ with all its diversity and hospitality. Offer a financial tax support to corporates / associations who conduct their meetings & events in India. Offer direct financial support of up to Rs. 1000 crores for all global companies/ associations and world bodies who conduct their events, conferences and exhibitions in India. Announce a state-of-the-art skill development institute on the lines of IIM, which will be India’s first tourism university offering various courses. Reduce haulage on luxury trains and offer tax subsidy on operating more luxury and Bharat Gaurav trains in India,” he said.