Another dampening Budget for Tourism?
Service Tax abatement from 4.5 to 9 per cent, followed by Union Budget 2017-18, which neither focused directly on tourism, nor it saw any relief from taxation for tour operators, has disappointed the industry once again. While the government has taken up infrastructure and employment generation in a big way, these do not result in any direct benefit to the stakeholders of the industry, at least not in immediate effect. However, the travel industry has not given up hope and while many are pinning their hopes on GST, there are others who are devising measures to deal with the situation and save their business. On the other hand, all associations are joining hands to educate their members. MOT is reportedly also taking up the issue with the Ministry of Finance, and solution might be in the offing. Meanwhile, another question is raised — Would the GST deliver the much-needed support to the industry? Only time can tell.