Nagpur: Realising the state’s tremendous tourism potential, the Maharashtra government is coming up with a new tourism policy which is expected to boost investment and employment in the tourism industry, as previous tourism policy was declared by state government in 2006.
Accordingly Valsa R. Nair-Singh, IAS – Principal Secretary (Tourism) Government of Maharashtra visited Nagpur to meet stakeholders to discuss and collect suggestions / comments for preparation of new policy.
A delegation of Nagpur Residential Hotels Association (NRHA) led by its president Prakash Trivedi attended meeting called by Hanumant K. Hede, Senior Regional Manager, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (MTDC) at Nagpur and submitted memorandum of suggestions and problems faced by hoteliers in Nagpur.
Tejinder Singh Renu, secretary of NRHA expressed gratitude to Devendra Fadnavis – Chief Minister, who also holds portfolio of Minister of Tourism and Valsa R. Nair-Singh, IAS – Principal Secretary (Tourism) Government of Maharashtra for giving such opportunity to hoteliers of the region to be heard and submit their suggestions in under preparation new tourism policy.
NRHA submitted suggestions that Zero Mile Stone being situated in Nagpur, the kind of beautification and attraction it deserves has not be done so far by the State Government. Tourism budget should mark considerable budget for beautification of the Zero Mile.
Further suggestions were made in fiscal incentives wherein it is demanded that tax exemption should continue for new units and expansion of existing units (as per the conditions set out earlier) in respect of state taxes, up to 100% of capital investment or completion of the eligible period which needs to be increased taking into consideration of market trends and mammoth increase in capital investment to 7, 10 and 12 years, whichever is earlier. Total exemption from Stamp Duty for the projects located in ‘B’ and ‘C’ zones and 50% exemption from stamp duty for projects located in ‘A’ zone including electricity concessions should continue wherein electricity duty will be levied at industrial rates for the respective period.
Renu also submitted that tourism projects require various licenses and clearances like lodging house license, eating house license, Police permissions, license under the Shop & Establishment Act, license under the Food & Drug Admin Act, etc. These licenses have to be renewed every year. Under this proposed Policy, these licenses/permissions should be renewed every 5 years instead of the present annual renewal for new as well as existing hotels.
NRHA also demanded special package for Vidarbha Region. Renu informed that Vidarbha’s backwardness is now matter of record and well established by State Government too. Hence to balance this region at par with Western Maharashtra, it is highly recommended that in the tunes of benefits / special package to Sindhudurg in previous policy, similar incentive be given to 11 districts of Vidarbha.
NRHA also informed Principal Secretary about the problems being faced by existing hoteliers of Nagpur like their police licences are not being renewed by police department for want of Fire NOC as per new act, closing time extension up to 1:30 am at par with rest of Maharashtra, plan of hotels not being sanctioned by NMC as they demand irrational parking requirements and mushrooming of many service apartments including bed & breakfast units threatening existing hotels.
Tourism secretary Valsa Nair Singh appreciated the submissions of NRHA and assured that essential suggestions shall be incorporated in the new tourism policy.
Others present in the NRHA delegation were Inderjeet Singh Baweja & Govind Mudliar – vice presidents, Deepak Khurana, Ankit Dua, Dr Gaurav Gupta, Rishi Tuli and Ajay Jaiswal.