Hotel Association delegation calls on Prpl Secy I&C, discusses issues

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: A delegation of Hotel & Restaurant Association Katra (HRAK) accompanied by stake holders from tourism and trade industry of Jammu called on the Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce J&K, Thakur Ranjan Parkash on Friday. Director Industries Jammu, Annoo Malhotra was also present during the meeting.
While discussing various issues, the members of delegation said that Katra and surrounding areas have huge potential to attract private viable investment but the need of hour is this that we should show investors the projects, which may add on to tourism potential of the Union Territory and provide maximum employment to people besides increasing stay of Yatris for making Katra and surrounding areas as hub of tourism.
Rakesh Wazir, President HRAK & Mentor PHDCCI Jammu, while speaking on the occasion said that investors are ready for making investment in viable projects around Katra like Shiv Khori rope-way, Water amusement park at Jhajjar Kotli, light & sound show on history of Mata Vaishno Devi and many more on private-Government partnership basis and if the things are expedited, we can see results within months. He further said that since tourism is the back bone of J&K Union Territory, service industry connected with Tourism, constitute big component of the same. “All Industrial benefits need to be extended to tourism sector as well like power tariff on industrial rates, which was sanctioned for year 2018-19 for Hospitality sector by J&K Government and was further validated upto March-2019 by SAC. It needs to be validated and extended once for all so that Hotels can also get power at Industrial rates. Similarly, when GST was introduced in J&K there was no VAT or any other tax on Hotels and it was assured that GST reimbursement will be made to Hotels but nothing as such has been made till today,” he asserted.
Shyam Lal Kesar, Chairman while speaking on occasion, said that areas which are already commercial in approved master plans be not asked for changing of their land-use from Revenue Department because the master plan has already been approved with the then Revenue Minister as one of the signatories.
Shiv Kumar Sharma Former President & Virender Kesar, Senior Vice Presidents elaborated that some special package for the suffering Hospitality Industry in lieu of total closure of business is need of hour. He further said that there is no GST re-imbursement for units which go for substantial expansion as is being given to new units. They further said that inter-state buses, which come from outside J&K, are stopped at Lakhanpur and passengers are de-boarded, which is causing numerous problems for the tourists, especially pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. They demanded immediate resolution of the issues.
Naseem Chaya and Kushal Magotra emphasised that business establishments are entitled for some working capital /other loans but court fee has been described as 1.2 per cent of value of mortgaged property, which in some even surpasses the loan amount. There should either be no court fee or 1.2 per cent of loan amount and clarification with regard should be issued at the earliest, they demanded. Sanjay Gupta, Vikas Gupta and Ashu Gupta requested for increasing moratorium of hotel loans, as hotel industry has suffered a lot due to COVID outbreak.

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