Road tax hike irks IATO

Representatives of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will be meeting Haryana’s Chief Minister to bring relief to its members and tourists

NISHA VERMA

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) organised a luncheon meeting for its members, where its President Pronab Sarkar expressed his happiness on having the eVisa website updated with the changes that the government had announced. “Now the new e-Visa amendments are available for foreign tourists. With 120 days of application time, double entry and 60-day limit, it’s going to help tourists. Three of the ports have also been included in e-Visa, which was something we had requested for cruise tourism development, as it is very important for cruise tourists to get e-Visa onboard,” he informed.

However, he insisted that with the changes in place, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) needs to do a lot of promotions internationally about the same along with the fraternity. “People should come to know that these facilities are available, so that more tourists come,” Sarkar added. Raising the issue of increased road tax in Haryana, he said, “Haryana tourism has suddenly put in place a steep hike in charges for commercial vehicles entering Haryana, which is quite cumbersome. In fact, if we do calculations, there has been as much as 1700 per cent increase in some of the taxes, which is exorbitant. It is not possible for a tourist to pay that kind of money just for visiting or crossing a state. Thus, we will be requesting the Haryana Chief Minister to gradually increase the taxes, instead of doing it suddenly.”

Talking about the pending issue of partial hospitality scheme with the MOT, he said, “We are hoping that it will come through because during the summer months a lot of Fam tours are coming from outside India and our members also undertake those facilities with the help of MOT. If they get some partial assistance from the government, that would be of great help for organising those tours.” On the annual convention front, he informed that it will take place in September at the Mayfair Convention Centre in Bhubaneswar, and their team is working towards the same and would share more information with their members soon.

“We will be requesting the Haryana Chief Minister to gradually increase the taxes, instead of doing it suddenly”

– Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO

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