Transport

Exempt cruise tourism under GST regime: Shipping Ministry

DELHI: The shipping ministry has asked the GST Council to exempt cruise tourism under the new indirect tax regime, in line with major cruising nations.

At present, cruise tourism is not taxed and the shipping ministry wants to keep it out of the GST regime in order to boost the industry, reports PTI.

To make India a global hot spot for cruise tourism, a policy is likely this month as steps are underway to expand number of cruise vessels to 700 from about 70 at present.

“Major cruising nations like UK, USA and Germany have zero rate domestic cruises. India should also have zero rating for cruise tourism as it is in nascent stage in the country and such steps will provide it a much needed boost,” Ministry of Shipping said in a proposal sent to the GST Council.

It also mentions that transportation of passengers (with or without belongings) by inland waterways is not a taxable service under the Finance Act, 1994 and the same rule should be applied to “cruise ships” operating domestically or internationally.

According to an official, who did not wish to be named, the ministry has argued that cruise tourism industry is highly labour intensive, and given its strong backward linkages, it will impact the economy positively.

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