Staff Correspondent

`Bangalore and Mysore need 15,000 and 3,000 hotel rooms'

MYSORE: The Hebbal Industrialists' Association (HIA) has said that the five-year tax holiday given to star hotels in and around New Delhi should have been extended to places of tourist interest such as Mysore and Bangalore also.

It stated this here on Wednesday in its reaction to the Union budget. The association's demand for tax holiday to star hotels in Mysore and Bangalore assumes significance in the wake of scarcity of accommodation in these two cities.

Tourism Commissioner G. Kumar Naik, during a recent visit to the city, said that Bangalore and Mysore urgently required 15,000 and 3,000 hotel rooms, respectively. Mr. Naik made out a case for driving private investment into the tourism and hospitality sector by offering incentives.

An acute shortage of star hotels to accommodate tourists has been felt not only in Bangalore, but also in Mysore.

In a statement, association president P. Vishwanath and general secretary Suresh Kumar Jain, however, welcomed the Union budget proposals to increase the Excise exemption limit from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 1.5 crore and service tax exemption limit from Rs. 4 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh.

The association has appreciated the priority to the development of ITIs across the country.

"The focus on the development of ITIs will help boost the availability of skilled and trained manpower to industries," it said.

The association welcomed the reduction of customs duty on polymers, man-made fibre, cooking coal, chemicals and non-agricultural products, besides edible oil. "The thrust given to agriculture, infrastructure and rural development will certainly create a hospitable climate for faster development of small scale industries," the association said.