Mysore/Mysuru: In a major relief to the tourism and hospitality sectors that have been battered by COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown, the State Government on Thursday announced a slew of concessions and relief measures for hotels, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks, including a 50 percent reduction in property tax.
In a notification to support the ailing tourism sector, the Government said that property tax will be halved for hotels, resorts, restaurants and entertainment parks for the current financial year. In addition, the fixed charges for electricity bills for the months of April, May and June too will be waived off for these establishments.
Further concession has been allowed in other fees these establishments pay to the Government. For excise licence fees and other such charges, commercial enterprises have been given an option to pay only half of the amount now and the rest can be paid before the end of the calendar year.
In addition to these announcements, Government will pay Rs. 5,000 to registered tourist guides. The one-time financial relief is in line with the State Government’s relief package announced by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to provide support to families of workers in the unorganised sector.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Tourism Society has said that these announcements will help the battered sector recuperate and would help the industry and many others, who indirectly depend on tourism for their livelihoods. Seeking a relief package as done for some other sectors, the Karnataka Tourism Society had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Tourism Minister.
The Association had made demands with respect to the concessions that have been granted in this relief package. Other than these, they had also asked for an exemption from paying the quarterly road tax for vehicles. Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association President C. Narayanagowda too welcomed the measures that will help the hotel and tourism industry.
“A place like Mysuru that depends majorly on tourism income, there has to be some measures to provide relief. We had appealed several times to the Government for a financial package. Though not all of our demands have been met the Government has at least fulfilled a part of our demand. I appeal to the Government to help us tide over the crisis situation,” he said.
“I thank Chief Minister Yediyurappa, Opposition leader Siddharamaiah, Karnataka Pradesh Hotel Owners and Restaurants Association (KPHRA) President Chandrashekar Hebbar, Karnataka Tourism Society President Shyamaraju and FKCCI office-bearers for impressing upon the Government for such a step,” Narayanagowda added.