Bhattacharjee assures conducive tax structure for hospitality Ind.

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Kolkata, Oct 26 (UNI) Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today attributed the failure of promoting tourism in West Bengal to anomalies in tax structure and assured of taking up the matter with Finance Minister Ashim Dasgupta.

Addressing the convocation of the Federation of Hotel&Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), Mr Bhattacharjee assured of giving a relook into the tax structure with Mr Dasgupta so that grievances of hoteliers and restauranteurs could be alleviated.

Mr Bhattacharjee said, '' I have a very orthodox Finance Minister, '' adding he would talk to him regarding demands of lowering tax structure for hospitality industry in the state.

He said this sector had tremendous potentiality for creating new jobs, adding without new job facility, the growth of GDP was meaningless.

Referring to his latest meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he suggested that creating job opportunity should be the main criteria for the country's policy makers. He said he had suggested the Union Government to create infrastructure so that the investors could come for newer facilities both in agriculture and industry.

Mr Bhattacharjee also suggested the FHRAI to set up an institution here, like it has in Nodia, where the youths should be imparted training in the hospitality sector and said land would not be a problem.

His government was not shy about new ideas in industry or agriculture sectors, he iterated.

He said the FH&RAI is an important forum having 3200 members across the country and added that he would look into the recommendation of the three-day convocation.

Mr Bhattachajree said his government was keen on developing tea-tourism in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of north Bengal and eco-tourism in Sundarbans in South 24-Parganas district.

FHRAI president Rajesh Mishra suggested for reduction of the existing ten per cent luxury tax and 12 per cent VAT with immediate effect or else hospitality industry would suffer further in Bengal.

Mr Misra said to augment tourism in this part of the country, the government should earmark landbank for smaller hotels for budget tourists and IT experts. Dearth of budget hotels had affected tourism in the state, he added.

UNI

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