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Nepal participates in Dubai Travel Mart

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) participated in Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) 2011 held in Dubai from 2 to 5 May.

This was the 18th edition of ATM where 320 exhibitors from 69 different counties and 57 different national tourism organisations had participated. The four-day fair had two categories—business session and general public day. The event was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktom, Vice-president and Prime Minister of UAE.

NTB was accompanied by seven airline and travel companies— Nepal Airlines Corporation, Aarya Village Travel, Gokarna Forest Resort, Hyatt Regency, Monterosa Treks & Expeditions, Mountain Adventure Trekking, The Explore Nepal and Yeti Travels. In the fair, more than 100 travels and tour operators visited the Nepal pavilion, said NTB issuing a press statement.

Nepali participants along with disseminating and promoting tourism attractions of Nepal highlighted Nepal Tourism Year 2011. “This fair has given the light that this region can grow as the potential tourism market for Nepal,” said NTB.

NE MPs bat for deferment of service tax in Sikkim

NE MPs bat for deferment of service tax in Sikkim

THE North East MPs Forum has written to the Prime Minister of India to extend a window of five years for preparedness before imposing service tax in Sikkim. The state which has witnessed over 20 percent growth in tourism has created a large number of employment for young people in travel agencies, transportation, hotels and guest houses.

“This is not the time to tax them with service tax. Many of them do not even know how to keep books of accounts…There is palpable anger amongst this section of this population,” a letter dated May 25, 2011 and signed by Forum’s chairman Mukut Mithi and general secretary Birendra Prasad Baishya said.
In fact, most tour operators and travel agents in Sikkim were surprised to receive notices from the Superintendent (Anti-Evasion) Central Excise and Service Tax Department, Siliguri Commissionerate asking them to provide the requisite information and comply the service tax with retrospective period from 2006-2007 onwards and comply within March 31, 2011.
Currently, under the government of India’s exemption scheme for the North-East, most heavy industries are being exempted from service taxes and direct taxes. Sikkim which became a part of India only in May 1975, is formally a part of India’s North East.

The North-East MPs have now argued that imposing tax “will increase cost of visiting North East Region which is anyway difficult to reach”. “There is a real fear of falling sales which is frustrating. Hence it is being seen as a misery tax”, said the letter. 

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