BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY 2023
The travel agencies are worried with the whopping increase from 5 percent to 20 percent in tax collected at source (TCS) for foreign tours and foreign remittances by the tourists in the general budget of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman this year.
Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “The proposal in the Union Budget 2023, to increase the rate of TCS from 5 to 20 per cent for purchase of overseas tours & overseas remittances other than education will significantly increase the upfront cash outflow for end customers. It will drive more of these customers to use alternate channels that are outside the domestic tax net. We urge the Government to reconsider this.”
Talking to The Travel and Tourism Times, Mr. Anil Punjabi, Director of Ar –Es Travels and Chairman ( East) of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) said that TCS increase from 5 to 20 percent is shocking news to the travel agents of the country.
“ It is high end clients who are paying advance tax to the federal government, but the federal government has no sympathy for them as they think people travelling abroad and spending more than Rs.7 lakhs will be an additional burden and are unjustified. As members of the travel fraternity we can not do anything. Which is very sad,” Mr. Anil Punjabi added.
On the positive side:
“Income tax rebates announced in the budget will result in an increase of disposable incomes which is welcome.
Tourism promotion being taken up on a “mission mode”- with active participation of states, public-private partnerships and convergence of government programs will drive domestic tourism growth. Strong infrastructural focus in the announcement of 50 new airports, heliports, water aerodromes and revival of advanced landing grounds will enhance regional access and connectivity. Financial support via loans to be provided to states for developing enhanced road and rail connectivity will help uplift the domestic tourism sector. The selection of 50 destinations to be developed as holistic tourism packages – combined with the focus on local level tourism & the promotion and sale of Geographical Indicator (GI) products and handicrafts will give a boost to local arts and artisans,” explained Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and MD of Thomas Cook ( India) Limited.
However, Mr. E.M.Najeeb, president of Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry welcomed this budget and said that overall it is very good.
Mr. Jose Pradeep, secretary, Kerala Travel Mart Society, said for the first time in the general Budget 2023, the union government has decided to take tourism promotion on a mission mode with active participation of the state. The convergence of the programme and the public-private partnerships (PPP) mode would help tap the potential of the sector..
” Fresh investment to the tune of Rs 2.4 lakhs crore in the railway sector, along with the development of 50 additional airports throughout the country, will further boost the connectivity, making it easier for tourists to explore Incredible India, There will be around 50 tourism destinations that will be selected and developed as a package for domestic and international tourism, he said while adding that this would help promote destinations as world class tourist attractions, to further augment tourism ,”he felt.
“ Development of new roads, bridges, highways, airports everything will ultimately boost tourism in the country. The Udan scheme will benefit the travellors of tier 2 and tier 3 cities, however the 20 percent TCS madate will have a negative impact on outbound tourism,” said Mr. Rajesh Magow, co founder and group CEO, MakeMyTrip.
“To encourage tourism in the border villages, tourism infrastructure and amenities will be facilitated under the Vibrant Villages Programme,” announced finance minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman today in the budget.
There is a large potential of tourism in India which needs to be tapped and the government will promote tourism on Mission Mode, the finance minister said.
The focus on ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ and development of the North Eastern region will further boost tourism and has been welcomed by Mr. S.P.Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of Pride Hotels Limited. Shares of the Indian hospitality companies have been upwards during the closing of the stocks today.
The Indian hospitality, travel and tourism sector had passed through a very tough period in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 due to the outbreak of the global Covid -19 pandemic during which all international scheduled flights have been closed.
“ We welcome the focus on the aviation sector with new 50 airports and green growth and this sector will create huge job opportunities in the coming days,”says Mr. Vinay Dubey, founder and CEO of India’s greenest airline, Akasa Air.
As per the Economic Survey of the Budget 2023, the hospitality and travel and tourism sector will have a 16 percent growth in the second quarter.
The tourism sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship. promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode with the active participation of states' convergence of government programs and public-private partnership#AmritKaalBudget #Budget2023 pic.twitter.com/UCXE72zRE5
— PIB India (@PIB_India) February 1, 2023