Success of Himachal home stay has Congress government extend tax holiday

Dharamshala: Given the popularity of the home stay scheme introduced in the state by the previous BJP government, the incumbent Congress government has decided to extend luxury tax holiday for such home run enterprises for another five years which was otherwise to end in July 2013.

At the winter session being held here at Tapovan, State Excise & Taxation Minister. Prakash Chaudhary today laid a bill in the house seeking extension of tax waiver on home stays units that have been in operation in the state since July 15, 2008.

The scheme was launched to promote and disperse tourism into rural areas.

“It has been considered essential to extend the home stay scheme for another period of five years from 15 July 2013 to 14 July 2018 and to promote the activity the government is of the considered view to grant further exemption from payment of luxury tax” Mr. Chaudhary said citing reason for the amendment of section 6-c of HP Tax on Luxuries (in Hotels and Lodging Houses) Act 1979.

The new bill only exempts those hospitality units in rural areas which are beyond three kilometers from the outer limits of municipality excluding important tourist destinations specified in this scheme. The house would take up the bill for debate soon.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who is also the home minister, introduced a bill in the house, which proposed that the state government to take control over enrollment of persons as volunteers of home guards.

The government is already controlling the volunteer enrollment of home guards process as it under Govenor Urmila Singh’s stamp had promulgated an ordinance to the effect on Oct 4, 2013.

The bill introduced today proposes to legislate into law the provisions of the ordinance.

Earlier the Commandant General of Home Guards had the powers to pick the volunteers into  the home guard para-police force without taking government approval.

Mohan Verma is a seasoned journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for news agencies and fast paced online media.

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