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Bengal may review luxury tax rates, says Buddhadeb
October, 27th 2007

Centre urged to take initiatives for developing tourism infrastructure

The West Bengal Government may review the existing luxury tax rates in the State after discussions with the State finance department, according to the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The luxury tax on hotels and restaurants is creating problems for hoteliers and restaurant owners in the State. We have to take a balanced view since the hospitality industry creates enormous job opportunities. I need to talk with my Finance Minister (Mr Asim Dasgupta) about this, Mr Bhattacharjee said, while speaking at the inaugural session of the 43rd Annual Convention of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) here on Friday.

Mr Rajesh Mishra, President of FHRAI, in his presidential address had proposed that the State Government withdraw luxury tax to boost development of hotels and restaurants.

Earlier luxury tax was restricted to Kolkata only. But it is now applicable across all the districts of West Bengal. Currently, luxury tax is charged at the rate of 10 per cent on (room) tariff exceeding Rs 500, Mr Mishra said.

According to Mr Bhattacharjee, the Central Government should take initiatives for developing tourism infrastructure across the country. The Government should spend more on tourism infrastructure projects since tourism and hospitality industry create maximum job opportunities, he said.

In West Bengal, the State has identified new areas for growth of tourism.

We have identified certain areas, including development of tea tourism in Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts, and eco-tourism in the Sundarbans, Mr Bhattacharjee said.

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