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Hospitality sector in Maharashtra receives a major boost amid Covid wave

Sunday, May 9, 2021, 10:34 Hrs  [IST]

According to TOI, The hospitality sector in the state, which is struggling badly to rise above huge losses being faced by its post-Covid lockdowns, has received a much-needed boost. The state government's energy and revenue departments have offered electricity duty and non agriculture (NA) tax to the state-registered hotels at industrial rate instead of their present commercial rates. Since electricity duty for the industrial sector is charged at 9% as against 21% for the commercial sector, the overall electricity charges for hotels will slide down giving them a major relief. Similarly, the NA tax for the commercial sector is twice as against one-and-half times for the industrial sector. Inclusion of the hospitality industry in the industrial sector will thus further bring down the costs for hoteliers. "These decisions by both government departments are in line with the state tourism policy announced by the government earlier which treats the hospitality sector as an industry instead of a commercial activity," said principal secretary for tourism Valsa Nair Singh. All these benefits are only for classified hotels and not for standalone bars and restaurants. These series of decisions in line with the new policy will not only help reduce the hotel tariffs for tourists, but will also help hotels add to their tourism infrastructure. From April 1 this year, all star hotels registered with the tourism ministry have been able to enjoy tariffs and duties on electricity, water as well as property, development and non-agricultural taxes at industrial rates. To formally achieve this respective government departments have to issue GRs. “The tourism sector can play a major role in economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic as it has the potential to grow at an annual rate of 8.5 per cent and add Rs 5,500 crore to the state's GDP. However, the sector is currently losing about 2.8 lakh jobs due to the global pandemic, and hence the need to strengthen the sector,” a tourism department statement said.

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