The Indian government denied speculations on waiving the visa fees for tourists during the Lok Sabha session on 25th July 2016. It further went on to say that a visa fee waiver is not part of the plan to thrust tourism in the country.
What was prioritized was the need for liberalization of the current visa policies in order to enable travel for foreign tourists. However, discussions for overall liberalization of the current visa policies in order to facilitate foreign travel are definitely being considered, stated Mahesh Sharma, the Tourism Minister in his written statement to the House.
The minister further added to his statements that there has been an ongoing discussion on bettering the infrastructure and connectivity to attract foreign tourists to India. In his reply to the query on waiving VAT charges for goods purchased by the foreign tourists the minister stated that it is entirely a state’s concern as VAT is a tax on the sale of a goods and therefore the state governments have the authority to decide upon the sales tax or VAT laws. The central government (Department of Revenue), he stated, is not at authority to take any action regarding VAT.
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