Govt exempts hoteliers in JK from paying Entry Tax till Feb

Govt exempts hoteliers in JK from paying Entry Tax till Feb

Iqbal Kirmani

SRINAGAR: The state administration has exempted the hoteliers in the flood-hit state from paying the Entry Tax due on various goods or equipments purchased from outside the state.
“The government hereby exempts from payment of Entry Tax leviable under the said Act (J&K Entry Tax Goods Act 2000) on furniture, office equipment/goods imported into the state by hotelier(s) as replacement for furniture/office equipment/goods destroyed during unprecedented floods of September 2014,” an order issued by Principal Secretary Finance B B Vyas last week reads.
The exemption would last till February 28, it adds.
According to the order, the hoteliers have to approach the Tourism Director concerned for preparing a list of goods and to quantify the damage caused by the floods.
“The Director will satisfy himself that such goods claimed as replacement, besides verifying insurance claims and other documents in support of claims made by the applicants,” it said.
“The official within seven days from the receipt of such applications from hoteliers shall furnish his recommendation to Commissioner Commercial Taxes, who in turn shall dispose off the issue within three days on merit,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) Tuesday welcomed the government’s decision.
“We welcome the decision…regarding grant of exemption of Entry Tax on goods or equipments imported to state for construction, expansion, and modernisation of hotels or needed to replenish the equipments damaged during September floods,” President KHAROF G M Dug said in a press statement issued here.
Dug said he recently discussed with Governor N N Vohra the issue of permitting repairs in hotels or guest houses that fall within the purview of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA).
“The action on the issue needs to be taken without further loss of time. Otherwise such properties would not become operational till the beginning of fast approaching tourist season,” he said.
For the domestic tourists expected to visit J&K from April 2015, he said the government should make available “adequate number of Yatri special trains” to Jammu.

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