Piyush Goyal commented on 17th February, can we identify certain manufacturers and services sectors where we can take leadership role.

During his speech he rightly mentioned about huge untapped potential that tourism sector has in India. We have unique position as far as tourism is concerned with Natural, Cultural & Historic assets which no other country can compete. However, it has not been properly developed, packaged & marketed. If this potential is unlocked not only India can earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange but also create millions of jobs.

While, talking about Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) at FICCI, as far as tourism sector is concerned, it is getting 7% that is actually duty drawback or the refund of taxes paid. The tourism sector pays 18% to 20% as domestic tax due to which India becomes expensive destination and unnecessarily looses tourist traffic to other countries.

Government should look at increasing the tax refund under SEIS to tourism sector and also bring a scheme to allow duty free imports for tourism & hospitality sector equivalent to 7% to 10% of net foreign exchange earnings. This will help India to develop and upgrade its tourism infrastructure to the current world standards.

Collective efforts by all concerned Union Ministries can ensure much faster results from tourism sector.

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