Parity applies to entry fee only: Ambika Soni

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) The government today clarified that the decision to bring parity in the entry fee at the Taj Mahal for the people of India and SAARC and BIMSTEC countries applied only to the entry fee and not to the tax charged by the Agra Development Authority.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) charges Rs ten as entry fee from Indian visitors to the Taj.

On March 5 this year, the ASI issued a notification to the effect that citizens from SAARC and BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand-Economic Cooperation) countries would also be charged Rs 10 as in case of Indian visitors.

Foreigners of other nationalities are charged Rs 250.

Ms Soni said the Agra Development Authority charges Rs 500 from each foreign national, including those from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries, and Rs 10 from Indian visitors as toll tax.

''The notification issued by the ASI applies only to the entry fee and not to the tax charged by the Agra Development Authority,'' she said.

Replying to another query, the minister denied that the Army had undertaken some construction work near the Taj.

She, however, said the Army had started some construction activity on its land near the Agra Fort, but it was stopped in the absence of a licence from the ASI.

UNI SKS HS AS1346

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