The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), in the upcoming National Budget 2022-23, has proposed for a “One India One Tourism” approach inclusive of the “One Tax Structure”. The Association wants the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) to be brought under the ambit of GST to make air travel more viable for all stakeholders as well as an extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
In an official statement, the travel body said there are several aspects that can be expected in the upcoming Budget to support the entire sector of “travel tourism and hospitality”, which will help in reviving the sector. “For this, it is extremely important for both the central and state governments to work in tandem to facilitate this sector and support it to be included in the concurrent list to get Industry status to make it more structured.”
TAAI said the government should strive to increase the disposable income of the middle classes to spurt that discretionary spending. It believes concrete steps should be taken to improve cash flows and reduce the working capital burden on startups, existing MSMEs and SMEs along with access to easy credit, reducing the income tax rate and GST rate, abolishment of tax collected at sources (TCS) and wage support with ease of business.
“Besides, strengthening MSMEs, creating a fund of funds scheme for technology adoption for use in industry 4.0, reviving the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) for technology upgradation are the other steps TAAI is expecting in the forthcoming Union Budget,” it said. “To revive this struggling sector, we need “One India One Tourism” approach inclusive of “One Tax Structure”.”
It highlighted that the important points to be considered are e-visa fees waiver for all tourist visas for 2022-23, to support inbound revival export status for tourism export earnings. The Association also sought double expenditure allocation for the tourism ministry to enable intensive global reach-out to support the inbound revival as well as domestic income tax travel credit for Indian citizens and Indian companies to support domestic retail and domestic MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) pick-up.
Furthermore, it is also looking at a global bidding fund in the Union Budget 2022-23 to enable bidding support to Indian MICE companies to bring global MICE events to India. The most vital is a structured mechanism to secure travel agents’ payments to ensure security for travel agents and operators’ survival.