New Delhi: Racing against time to ensure 1,50,000 hotel rooms before 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi, the Tourism Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to incentivise the tourism industry, which is pounded by rupee appreciation.
In the pre-budget consultations with the Finance Ministry, the Tourism Ministry has put up a strong case for providing tax benefits and a relief package for the industry.
“Devaluation of the dollar against the Indian rupee is affecting travel trade industry a lot. The industry is after us and we have taken it up at different levels in the Finance Ministry,” Minister for Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni told PTI.
India played host to five million tourists last year, and the industry would have been in the midst of good times, but for the impact of 12.3% rise in the value of rupee in comparison to the US dollar.
The profitability has been severely hit because the conversion value of the foreign exchange earned by the hotels and other components of the industry has been reduced to the extent of 15% in the last 16 months.
Soni said that the focus of incentives would be on providing budget accommodation not only in Delhi but also heritage sites throughout the country.
“We have asked the Finance Ministry to give tax holidays for budget accommodation at places which are most visited like world heritage sites. India has 27 of them,” Soni said.