Did the Indian Budget 2019 have enough for the travel and tourism sector? A case in point is that there was no mention of budget allocation for UDAN, the Government’s much touted regional connectivity scheme—and that’s a big let off. There have been mixed opinions from travel operators across the country.
It is crucial that the government works on building better connectivity to major tourist destinations, the failure of which will lead to infrastructure gaps over the next few years.
The last few months haven’t been the best of times for the domestic travel industry and it does need a filip to put growth back on track. While taxpayers with a turnover of not exceeding 5 crores can now file GST returns on a quarterly basis—the earlier limit was INR 1.5 crores—the travel industry, in general, expects further GST simplification such as centralized registration under GST laws to mitigate the compliance burden on the service and e-commerce sector.
No to mention the tax rate on luxury hotels that continues to remain high in comparison with other popular destinations such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand. Therefore, it is imperative that the government slashes the heavy tax rates on premium hotels to stay in the race. Also, there weren’t any announcements of substance for startups and SMEs, with the exception of the proposal for easing the angel tax regulations.