GST should be implemented with much caution: Hotel Association

Excelsior Correspondent

KATRA, Feb 18: Hotel & Restaurant Association Katra, in a meeting held here today under the chairmanship of its president Rakesh Wazir, held thread bare discussion for improving tourism which has decreased drastically in the recent years.
Wazir, while speaking on the occasion, said that J&K is a totally Tourism dependent State and the affairs from the last some time had been quite abnormal and the result had affected the Tourism potential of the State in a big way. He appealed the State Government that whenever the GST is implemented in the State, no Tax on the Tourism Sector, including Hotels, Guest Houses, House boats etc, should be imposed and well in advance such provision in the GST be kept so that no tax is levied on Tourism Sector in J&K while accepting the terms & conditions of the GST.
“Much caution needs to be taken with regard to that because the conditions of J & K, particularly in comparison to other States, including Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi etc,. are not good and while implementing GST if the same yard sticks are adopted here, the Tourism sector of the State, which is already collapsing , would get badly effected further,” he explained..
Chairman of the Association, Shyam Lal Kesar, who was also present in the meeting, strongly criticized the stand taken by the State Government on Service Charge issue even by becoming more rigid than Center and other States and asked for withdrawl of the SRO in this regard. He said that by stop taking Service Charges by hotels, the State Government has snatched even the bread & butter of poor employees because it was used to be distributed among them.
Before this meeting, the Association arranged an interaction with the officers of the Employees’ State Insurance Department’s officers, including Deputy Director Parveen Mudgal, Asstt Director A K Katoch and Social Security Officer Rakesh Ranjan who elaborated in detail the recently started scheme for promoting Registration of Employers and Employees(SPREE) besides elaborating other benefit schemes of the department.
The meeting, among others, was attended by Virender Kesar, Ramnik Sharma, Arun Kotwal, Virender Matttoo, Gaza Ram and others.