FAITH lobbies for 5% GST for tourism

For FAITH, the single point agenda is to get the rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) for tourism under the lowest slab possible, reveals SarabJit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH.

The Federation of Associations of Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has held multiple discussion meetings with all its member associations regarding GST. “Finally, we have come to the conclusion that we are seeking the lowest slab possible for tourism sector. Earlier, we were asking for six per cent, but now we are requesting for five per cent. We have given requisite examples of other countries, where the GST is low. We have given a list of 20 countries, which have kept tourism in the lowest slab for GST, and are recording huge number of tourist arrivals,” Singh says. FAITH has also urged the government to keep the foreign exchange transactions under tourism tax free. “Our second demand is that any transaction in foreign exchange by the tourism sector should be on zero rating. In fact, it should be the same for all tourism organisations, be it hotels, tour operators, transport operators or convention providers. That will give us incentive to make Indian tourism products more competitive worldwide and win business, which is going to other countries. The third thing which we have asked is that the definition of these services under GST should be amended so that the services provided to foreign tourists in India should be treated on a par with the services provided outside India and given all benefits,” he adds. FAITH has reached out to all states and central government officials and ministers and Singh hopes that things will pan out in favour of tourism. The association is also involved in the upcoming Incredible India Global Tourism Mart (IIGTM), scheduled from February 1-4, 2017, in Delhi. “IIGTM would most probably be inaugurated by the Prime Minister at VigyanBhawan. Other things are being worked upon including the hotel bookings and the invitations for foreign tour operators. MOT is considering bringing all states and union territories to participate, to not only showcase their tourism potential, but also their culture and handicraft. The event will focus on both inbound, outbound and domestic tourism, and we are looking forward to around 400 hosted buyers as well as international media. Foreign tour operators will be taken on Fam tours around the country, which is also being worked out.”

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