Exempt cruise tourism under GST regime: Shipping Ministry
The Shipping Ministry has asked the GST Council to exempt cruise tourism under the new indirect tax regime, in line with major cruising nations. At present, cruise tourism is not taxed and the shipping ministry wants to keep it out of the GST regime in order to boost the industry.
To make India a global hot spot for cruise tourism, a policy is likely this month as steps are underway to expand number of cruise vessels to 700 from about 70 at present. Transportation of passengers (with or without belongings) by inland waterways is not a taxable service under the Finance Act, 1994 and the same rule should be applied to “cruise ships” operating domestically or internationally. To promote cruise tourism, an action plan is also on the anvil that will include key steps to bring it on par with international standards. A slew of measures are already been taken to boost infrastructure that include building cruise terminals at five major ports – Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Chennai and Cochin.