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Industry Reacts to Budget 2013

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“IATO is upset over neglect of tourism sector in budget 2013. Tour operators have little to rejoice about the budget. We expected that the budget will bring some relief to our mounting woes by reducing the Service Tax but this has not happened. The increase in import duty on high end motor vehicles from is also going to impact negatively the tourism industry as for easy movements for tourists we require comfortable cars. The good part is that this budget has some plan allocation for infrastructure which will bring benefits to tourism but we have to see how far all these schemes are implemented as our experience is that most of them only remain on paper.”

Subhash Goyal, President, IATO

“The budget is very pragmatic and stays committed to the path outlined by the Finance Minister towards fiscal consolidation. The GDP growth rate is expected to be substantially better than the decade low rate of 5 to 5.5 per cent achieved in 2012-13. With major tax reforms like DTC and GST on the anvil, we can expect buoyancy in tax revenues in future. The travel industry looks forward to this growth oriented Budget to improve its fortunes in the next year.”

Rajeev Wagle, Managing Director, Kuoni India

“The budget has been extremely disappointing for the hotel industry and instead of scrapping the Service Tax totally, it has been extended to air conditioned restaurants exceeding 2000 square feet which do not serve liquor. This would severely impact the restaurant industry throughout the country. Therefore, the government’s plan to increase foreign tourist arrivals from six million to 12 million and to increase employment from the present 53 million to 87 million in the 12th Five Year Plan would indeed be impossible to achieve. In view of the heavy multiple taxes hotels are subjected in India, they are unable to be compared with other destinations in the region.”

Vivek Nair, President, FHRAI.

“We are extremely upset about the budget and our request has not been respected. It is an eyewash budget.”

Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI

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