Jammu: Hotel and restaurant owners here have demanded various concessions on par with the industrial sector and a single window for registration.
The demands were raised by a joint delegation of the Federation of Hotels, Restaurants, Industry and Commerce of Jammu Region and Hotel and Restaurant Association Katra (HRAK) during a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah here, FHRICJR president Rakesh Wazir said in a statement on Monday.
Shah is currently on a three-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir and visited Jammu on Sunday to meet several delegations besides inaugurating and laying the foundation of various projects and addressing a public meeting.
Wazir, accompanied by his deputy Kushal Magotra, said tourism is the backbone of J&K and the main contributor of its economy but, the hotel industry, which is the main component, is still struggling to get the basic incentives that other sectors are getting.
He said that earlier hotels were provided with electricity on par with industries but that practice was stopped, and after the imposition of GST, taxes were imposed on the hotel industry, even as there was no tax on lodging before the GST regime.
Later on refund of GST was started in various sectors, including manufacturing Industry, but hotel sector in industry is still struggling to get the refund, Wazir said, adding the delegation demanded that all the benefits that are being provided to other sectors be provided to the hotel industry that is covered under Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
He said there is a need for customised schemes for all those units that have not availed any business loans.
Wazir said the delegation demanded early setting up of industrial parks around Katra.
Magotra pitched for ending the dual registration of hotels and said there should be a single window for registrations instead of the dual registration with the Tourism Department and Industries department.
He emphasised that the moratorium of loans, which have turned bad due to COVID-19, be increased further.
Magotra also raised the issue of a common sewerage treatment plant for the whole Katra town, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, to keep the Ban Ganga and other water sources clean.
The Home Minister heard the delegation patiently and assured them to look into the points raised by them, the statement said.