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New Delhi, 01 February 2023:- For the first time  the Hon’ble Finance Minister has in start of the budget addressed the importance of tourism in India and recognised its potential for growth in employment generation and it needs to be tapped, said Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators.

In her address, the Hon’ble Finance Minister also mentioned that Large potential for tourism especially youth- to be taken up on mission mode, which is very encouraging. She also mentioned that 50 tourist destinations will be selected through challenge mode to be developed as a whole package for domestic and international tourism.

Besides the above the Hon’ble Finance Minister also mentioned about Public Private Partnership in tourism to be taken up in earnest; 50 additional Airports/Heli ports to be developed to encourage Last Mile Connectivity; Rs 79000 Crores for 100 last mile Railway Projects; To give a boost to Dekho Aapna Desh and Swadesh Darshan Scheme;  Tourism Infrastructure facility to be developed in villages specially in the border areas; and One District One Product will be in focus, which is very encouraging, said Mr. Mehra as these will help in the growth of domestic and international tourism to India.

Some of our members who do Outbound tourism business will have to close their business at Tax Collection at Source (TCS) has been proposed to be increased from 5 % to 20%. This needs to be rolled back immediately.

However, none of our demands like, rationalization of GST on tourism industry, exemption of GST on foreign exchange earnings and refund of tax on shopping under Tax Refund to Tourist (TRT) Scheme on shopping etc. for which there is already a provision in GST Act, have been considered, said Mr. Rajiv Mehra. Government should consider our demands sympathetically which are very important for revival of tourism post Covid Pandemic

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