Consider reducing GST rate on ropeways: HP to Centre
Himachal Pradesh government has urged the Centre to consider reducing the rate of GST from 18% to 5% by adding a specific entry related to ropeways and other unconventional modes of transportation.
HP chief minister Jai Ram Thakur has apprised Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman of the state’s decision to use the concept of ropeways for transportation of passengers and goods throughout Himachal.
The objective behind this decision is to connect the left-out habitations where construction of roads is not environmentally and economically feasible. It also aims at connecting new places of tourist attraction and exploring new opportunities from a tourism point of view for employment generation and economic growth of the state.
Jai Ram Thakur has said that the Himachal government has created ropeways and Rapid Transportation System Development Corporation (RTDC) under the transport department as a single nodal agency for construction of ropeways and other mass rapid transportation systems in the state. Therefore, the ropeways would not act merely as the tourist attraction but would also help in providing sustainable means of transport in rural areas besides considerably solving the traffic congestion in these areas.
The CM has also added that the ropeways and other unconventional modes of transportation are not defined separately under the specific entry of GST schedules. The GST is being levied on this service (9% SGST and 9% CGST), thereby increasing the freight on this mode of transportation substantially. He said the ropeways are one of the safest modes of passenger and transport material transportation and are eco-friendly solutions for providing connectivity.
He has further mentioned that Himachal Pradesh is one of the revenue deficit states where the revenue gap is more than 50%. The setting of ropeways in a big way in the state would attract a large number of tourists to the state which in turn would help in economic growth and enhance the revenue receipt of the state which might help in reducing the revenue gap.