'Travel industry looking for rationalisation of taxes'

Union Budget 2021: Travel industry looking for rationalisation of taxes, says MakeMyTrip founder

Deep Kalra, Founder and Group Executive Chairman, MakeMyTrip Ltd. Credit: MakeMyTrip

Deep Kalra

Despite the far-reaching impact of Covid-19 on the travel and tourism sector which was the worst affected, and without any aid in the form of a stimulus package, the industry is trying to find its feet and take initial steps towards recovery. In the short-term, the industry is looking for assistance in the form of rationalisation of taxes, extension of moratorium period, and waiving off many statutory obligations that burden the sector. We hope that in the upcoming budget the Government takes note of the sector’s role in the entire economic value chain and makes the long-due decision of including travel & tourism in the concurrent list.

As domestic tourism holds key to recovery, I-T deductions on domestic travel undertaken by the taxpayer will help in encouraging people to travel more domestically – further benefitting the larger ecosystem. On the corporate travel front, the Government should set sight on incentivizing MICE business – that would perhaps be the last to recover and offer 200% weighted deduction to companies on MICE expenses over the next two years or more.

Overall, the industry is looking towards certain concessions and rebates for travel and tourism to pick up pace and returns to pre-Covid levels.

(The author is Founder and Group Executive Chairman, MakeMyTrip Ltd.)