A delegation of Hotel & Restaurant Association Katra met Chief Minister Jammu & Kashmir State Mufti Mohd. Sayeed at Jammu and discussed in detail the problems being faced by the Tourism/Hotel Industry and emphasized for extending and giving all industrial benefits which are prevalent at present to Industries in the State, to Tourism industry / Sector as well including subsidized power tariff, tax holidays etc.
They said that no Separate permissions under Agrarians Reforms Act from Revenue department be insisted upon when the Master Plan of the areas already stands fully approved by the full Cabinet including Revenue Minister itself which clearly demarcates in it the areas like commercial, residential etc.
They requested that VAT on cooked food served in Hotels, Restaurants be abolished & Soft loan on renovation of existing Tourism units be provided to Tourism registered units.
They said that no Categorization of areas as for as providing for tourism incentives be made and likewise Single window clearance of Tourism related units with time bound limit and capital out right investment subsidy of 30% as prevalent at the moment, with no ceiling of Subsidy be made.
The delegation also said that all the items required for renovation/ upgrading of existing units and making of new tourism units including Hotels, Restaurants be exempted from Sales Tax / Entry Tax at Lakhanpur.
Likewise Entry tax on tourist vehicles particularly the tourist coaches on per day basis be abolished and one time concessional tax may be charged from them.
The delegation also emphasized upon Improvement in the infrastructure at Katra like sanitation, roads, good drainage system, cleanliness etc. and asked for upgradation of places of tourist interest around Katra like Devi Pendian, Aghar jitto, Baba Dhansar, Sear baba, Deva Mai, Shiv Khori, Sukrala, Surinsar, Mansar etc. viz a viz opening of old traditional route of Katra Vaishnodevi by making a small bridge at Bamyal and upgadation of road bifurcating from Highway at Jagti to Bamyal.
They said that another tourist circuit by linking of Road near Suketar Domail at Tahra to Surinsar can be made easily.
They also suggested early start of projects already sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism Government of India like Cheryai Kagga, Light & Sound Programme at Katra. Good Volvo Bus services(or High quality buses ) from Katra-Srinagar, Katra-Pahalgam, Katra-Bhaderwah, Katra-Patnitop-Sanasar, Katra-Budha Amarnath, Katra-Shiv Khori etc. and back can help tourism.
The demanded a stop on nuisance by traffic Police from Lakhanpur to Kashmir & Katra. The delegation also requested subsdised Golf Course membership to Hotels so that their guests may get maximum benefit of that facility. Other than that they asked if fully electric metered areas in the state can be provided with uninterrupted power supply without any scheduled cuts then the same yard stick be implied at Katra as well.
Since the walking on foot is more than 4 KM around Mansar lake thus Battery cars for sight seeing around Mansar Lake be started at the earliest and many such other points were discussed in detail in the meeting.
The Chief Minister listened the points raised in the discussion and assured every help for the redressal of the same.