Transport Department’s order surprises many

Contrary to the reported “promise” made to stakeholders of the Mysore tourism industry by district in-charge Minister S.A. Ramdas to waive entry tax for tourist vehicles during Dasara for one month, the Transport Department has exempted tax only for 10 days from October 16 to 25.

The tax exemption for a short period has not impressed stakeholders, who were anticipating exemption for one month.

An order issued by the Transport Department on October 9, a copy of which is available with The Hindu , states that “tourist vehicles from other States entering Mysore (during Dasara) are exempted from paying entry tax from October 16 to 25.”

Since 2008, the government, on a request from the tourism industry, was waiving entry tax on tourist vehicles during Dasara to boost tourist inflow.

This year, the tourism and hospitality industry expected tax exemption for one month, though it had been urging the State government to lower tax to attract tourists from southern States.

Mr. Ramdas announced on October 10 that entry tax had been waived for one month from October 15 to November 15.

But, the order by the Transport Department states that tax exemption is only for 10 days.

“Tourists also visit Mysore after Dasara since it is difficult to get accommodation during the festivities. In this case, it is better to waive tax for at least a month. Already, tourism is dull and occupancy rate has dropped. Additional sops will help improve tourist footfalls,” said M. Rajendra, president of Mysore Tourism Forum.

He said that he had spoken to the Minister, who is in Bangalore, in this regard and urged him to make efforts to get the tax waived for a month.

“Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu charge lower tax for tourist vehicles. But, the entry tax is very high in Karnataka. The Transport Department collects entry tax of around Rs. 42,000 for a 50-seater tourist bus,” Mr. Rajendra said.

B.S. Prashanth, president, Mysore Travel Agents’ Association, said the entry tax for tourist vehicles was on the rise since 2005. The tax for a tourist bus was Rs. 6,000 in 2005, and it had gone up to Rs. 42,000.

This needed to be reconsidered as Mysore attracted the maximum number of tourists from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, he said.

The stakeholders here feel that the district administration must take steps to publicise the temporary exemption of entry tax on tourist vehicles in the neighbouring States as it helps tourists plan their visit during Dasara.

  • Tax exemption only from October 16 to 25

  • Ramdas had promised that it would be

    for one month