FOREWORD
It is indeed a great encouragement to the Hospitality sector to find that the current Tourism Ministry is taking some positive steps to win for the Hospitality industry its rightful place as contributor for the growth and development of the country. The 12th Plan envisages granting Rs 22,000 crore in order to take new initiatives to accelerate growth in the tourism sector and make it more inclusive. Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, made a presentation to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the 'Socio Economic Relevance of Tourism and the Way Forward' on the strategies to be adopted in the 12th Five year Plan. The presentation was made by Union Minister of Tourism Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed, and R H Khwaja, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The presentation makes a note that taxes in the sector in other countries are in the range of 5 to 7 per cent whereas in India this is not rationalized as different states have different tax structures, resulting in a tax in the region of 30 per cent making India a costly destination and resulting in a loss of tourist numbers.

Another recommendation made is that granting infrastructure status for the sector will give great stimulus to hotel development as the sector will be able to raise bank loans at cheaper interest rates. A strong pitch is also made for the grant of Deemed Export Status for tour operators earning foreign exchange.
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