No clarity despite GST session

The educational workshop organised by TAAI with officials from the CBEC failed to clear doubts of travel agents. Hopefully, the board will include feedback from the trade in its report to the Ministry of Finance.

HAZEL JAIN

After repeated requests from its members, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) reached out to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to get the lowdown on Goods & Service Tax (GST) straight from the horse’s mouth. The association members were hopeful that after attending a multitude of sessions on GST over the last few months, this one would bring some clarity, but in vain.

Sampat Damani, Chairman, Western Region, TAAI, says, “We are still trying to find our feet as far as GST is concerned. Despite conducting multiple sessions on GST, our members still have no clarity. At the behest of India Tourism, senior officials from CBEC agreed to conduct presentations for our members. But even the spokespersons could not clarify our doubts since there is still a lot of ambiguity and overlap as far as GST for the travel industry is concerned.”

Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, had also come down to Mumbai to talk to some agents regarding this issue. Damani adds that CBEC will take the members’ inputs and present them before the Union Ministry of Finance for vetting. “It is a long process. Until then the agents will have to try and survive. The government will take it easy in the first three months of GST and handhold us until September. They are giving us time for trial and error till the picture is clearer. Our industry is quite complex with too many layers,” Damani adds.

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