Govt. to reduce luxury tax, power tariff

| 28 January 2002 17:30 IST

With tourism industry facing a major setback this year, Goa government is planning to reduce luxury tax drastically while also reducing power tariff for the industry, as a pre-budget exercise.

Perhaps this would come as a little respite for the industry, especially tourism, which did not make good business this season (beginning from October here), due to world recession combined with post-11 September war situation.

But BJP chief minister Manohar Parrikar refuses to believe into the cries of hoteliers here. "No doubt season was bad, but it was much better in Goa than any other part of India", he claims.

In a meeting held with the Goa Travel and Tourism Association last month, Parrikar had in fact agreed to reduce the luxury tax immediately, provided the tourism sector provides valid data to prove their contention. "I am still awaiting it", states Parrikar.

On the contrary, he alleges that the hoteliers have been exploiting the tourists to the optimum by overpricing everything, including the room tariff. "It is higher than places like Singapore. Why then will they come to Goa", he asks.

According to Parrikar, the tendency to exploit the tourist has also hit the tourism industry, especially during the crisis period. "They have not created goodwill which they could survive on during such periods", he points out.

In fact, he expects the industry to reciprocate his gesture of reducing the luxury tax by one third by investing this amount into marketing Goa in a proper direction. The state approximately collects Rs 7.5 to 8 million every month towards the luxury tax.

Giving little more respite, the BJP government here has also decided to reduce the power tariff, especially for the industry and tourism. The decision however would be taken only after the power advisory board clears the proposal this week.

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