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Heritage hotel owners demand uniform national tax system
September, 24th 2008

The Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) Monday called for a uniform taxation policy across India for heritage hospitality properties.

"Heritage hotels stand apart as a category and have their own peculiar set of problems which the government, both at the centre as well as at the state, must look at judiciously", IHHA president Gaj Singh told reporters after the association's annual general meeting here.

Singh, scion of Jodhpur's former royal family, said a uniform taxation policy for heritage hotels would go a long way in increasing their viability. A skewed taxation system benefited some, went against others.

"Why do is there a different taxation policy in every state?" he asked.

Underscoring the growing importance of heritage hotels, he said when the concept was introduced in 1990, there were only 12 members; today, there are over 150 members with a long list of applicants seeking heritage status.

Singh said heritage properties had also provided a fillip to rural economy and culture in a big way. Besides creating direct employment, these hotels in the countryside promoted preservation and development of traditional arts, craft and folk culture.

Association members were also attempting to promote eco-tourism by adopting solar heating in their properties, he added.

According to Singh, the recent bomb blasts had caused a dip in tourist arrivals. "But the most heartening fact is that it has not nosedived" as many had feared.


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