In a bid to get some relaxations under the current GST regime, the India Cruise Lines Association (INCLA) approached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier this month.
The charter of demands submitted before the Prime Minister included the regulatory framework in conjunction with global practices, the reduction under the GST, tax holidays to draw foreign capital investments through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), duty-free shopping for cruise shipping and a nodal agency to streamline coordination between different ministries.
The meeting held on November 8 at the joint secretary level in the PMO, Jurgen Bailom, chairman, inCLA, along with three other members, submitted a White Paper comprising recommendations for the Indian Cruise industry and a letter requesting early resolutions of challenges being faced by industry stakeholders. “We are optimistic that the cruise-tourism sector will be a game-changer for India’s economy,” Mr. Bailom said.
“The global cruising industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel and tourism industry and can make a significant contribution to a destination’s economy and local communities. As cruise lines are looking for new destinations, India is fast emerging as a potential destination for cruise tourism. Especially for the coastal states, considering the vast coastline the country is endowed with, and yet remains unexploited,” he said.
The association opined that the current GST rate of 18% will have a negative impact on the industry and therefore, sought for a reduction in rate of 5% on services of transportation of passengers by cruise ships.
InCLA has also recommended that adequate rules must be formulated to ensure that declaration of inventory and stocks and sealing of them is waived for Indian cruise industry.