Over the years,the tourism industry has witnessed steady growth and has become a crucial cog in the socio-economic progress of our country. Tourism has become one of the major sectors in international commerce & at the same time, one of the main income sources for many developing countries like India, said CA Julfesh Shah,leading incentives consultant while adressing a webinar.
CA Julfesh Shah further enlightened that to promote tourism in Maharashtra, Directorate of Tourism & Culture Development had brought Maharashtra Tourism Policy 2016 which had come into force from 01st April 2016 and shall remain in force for a period of 10 years or until substituted.
The main objective of this policy is to accelerate projects through Private Sector Investments/PPP mode, Development of tourism infrastructure in the state, Develop tourist destinations & avenues, Investment outreach to global investor community, adapt a sustainable approach to tourism development.
CA Shah explained that the eligible units under the scheme are Hotels, Heritage Hotels, Resorts Health Farms, Health & Wellness Spa and units registered under the Bed and Breakfast scheme of MTDC/DoT, Motels and wayside amenities, Apartment Hotels/Service Apartments, Water Sports and Amusement Parks, Arts and Crafts Villages, Golf Courses, Camping, Caravanning and Tent Facilities, Arial Ropeways, Exhibition-cum-Convention Centers, Development of Hill Stations – Tourism units, Adventure Tourism Projects, Houseboats, Eco-Tourism Projects, Museums and Aquariums, Shacks, Medical tourism units.
For Fiscal Incentives under the policy, there has been Area Classification as Zone A – Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban District, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation Areas, Zone B – All Municipal Corporations (except areas in Zone A and special tourism districts of Sindhudurg, Aurangabad and Nagpur and Special Tourism Zones-STZ ) and A Class Municipalities, Zone C – All districts of Maharashtra except areas of Zone A, B and Special tourism districts, Special Tourism Districts – Districts of Sindhudurg, Aurangabad and Nagpur, Special Tourism Zone – High potential zones to be earmarked by DoT.
Nagpur district specifically fall under Special Tourism District while rest of the Vidarbha region fall under Zone B & Zone C as per the criteria. The major Incentives that shall be received under the scheme shall be reimbursement of Net SGST paid & exemption on various taxes & duties such as Electricity Duty, Stamp duty & Registration Charges. For Zone B, Eligibility period shall be 7 years, GST Exemption shall be 75% of (NET GST liability), Electricity duty Exemption, Stamp duty and Registration charges exemption shall be 75%. For Zone C & Special Tourism Districts & Zone, , Eligibility period shall be 7 years, GST Exemption shall be 100% of (Net GST Liability), Electricity duty Exemption, Stamp duty and Registration charges exemption shall be 100%.
The above incentives are for MSME units, same shall change for Large, Mega & Ultra Mega units . CA Shah explained about the brief process for applying Incentives under the policy which are Registration of Entity, Application for Stamp Duty Exemption, Initiate & Complete Initial Effective Steps, Apply for Provisional Registration, Initiate & Complete Final Effective Steps, Apply for Eligibility Certificate.
CA Julfesh Shah concluded that in times of Covid pandemic where tourism industry is badly hurt, such government policies shall help the Tourism industry and other ancillary industries attached to revive from the loss & come back to competition with financial support thus shall help in the overall growth of the sector.