GST flag for Bud­get

TravTalk - India - - GUEST COLUMN -

While Union Bud­get 2017 saw the in­dus­try fret­ting over how the GST regime would come into ef­fect, it was fi­nally im­ple­mented on July 1, 2017. And now, in the 2018 Bud­get, the in­dus­try is still cop­ing with the GST af­ter­ef­fects. While the GST coun­cil did ad­dress the ini­tial is­sues of ho­tels, in­clud­ing the re­duc­tion of GST from 28 per cent to 18 per cent for ho­tels priced un­der 7500, there seems to be no such respite for tour op­er­a­tors. The travel agents are still hop­ing for the gov­ern­ment to look into the over­all 5 per cent GST levied on tour pack­ages, de­spite in­di­vid­ual ser­vices be­ing al­ready taxed in the pack­age. This cas­cad­ing ef­fect, ac­cord­ing to in­bound op­er­a­tors, make the pack­age ex­pen­sive, which in turn makes In­dia a costlier desti­na­tion as com­pared to its neigh­bours. An­other is­sue is the lack of clar­ity over how out­bund pack­ages would be treated in this sce­nario. Out­bound tour op­er­a­tors claim that their pack­ages do not fall un­der the purview of GST since they are not of­fer­ing any ser­vices within the coun­try. How­ever, the de­ci­sion on the same is still awaited and we hope that Union Bud­get 2018 will ad­dress this.

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