Hospitality sector not very happy with budget

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Mumbai, Feb 29 (UNI) The hospitality sector gave a cautious welcome to the Union Budget.

Hotel and Restaurant Association (Western India) senior vice president S P Jain, who is also the managing director of the Pride Group of Hotels, said overall the Budget is populist but there has been a lack of encouraging impetus to the hospitality industry and the tourism sector. The Budget provides no support to attract investment in the sector, Mr Jain rued.

The Budget has failed to grant infrastructure status to the hospitality business under Section 80-I A, and tax holidays are available only at heritage sites and, so, this measure is restrictive to growth. Tax holidays should have been given on a pan-India basis considering that there is a shortage of one lakh hotel rooms, Mr Jain said.

Leading travel firm Cox and Kings India senior director Peter Kerkar, while welcoming the five-year tax holiday to two, three and four-star hotels in UNESCO-declared sites, however, noted that India goes beyond the Taj Mahal and UNESCO declared sites.

He, however, opined that the raising of personal income tax limits will lead to an increase in disposable income that will reflect in higher travel spends. This is good news for the travel industry.

UNI VK/AR MAZ RL AS1658

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