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Taskforce to be constituted on unauthorised tourism businesses

Panaji: The government  on Wednesday announced that a taskforce will be constituted to deal with the mushrooming unauthorised  establishments in the tourism sector in an attempt to  ensure protection to  legal businesses and revenue generation to the state.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant made the announcement at a meeting he held in Panaji with representatives from industry organisations.

The generation of additional revenue through industries and other  sectors was also  discussed at the meeting.

As per data provided by the Tours and Travels Association of Goa to the Chief Minister, there are around 6,000 tourism-related unauthorised establishments, which mostly operate online.

These establishments  kill the business of legal establishments, denying  revenue to the government.

Sawant said  that several business establishments,  especially operating in the tourism sector, are not registered with the government causing loss to the state treasury.

“The government has decided to push them for registration  so as to earn  revenue,” he said, adding  that he has noted down all the suggestions made by  the industry stakeholders.

The suggestions will be considered by the government, he assured.

President of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Manoj Caculo said  the interaction with the Chief Minister was positive and productive.

The basic agenda  of the meeting focused on what the government can do for ‘ease of doing business’ for industries and how to increase  revenue for the state, Caculo said.

He  said the industry has requested the Chief Minister to be firm on unauthorised tourism businesses, which deny revenue to the government and business to legal establishments.

The industry also  sought reduction in stamp duty and registration fees as regards the real estate sector.

TTAG president Savio Messias said that there are only 2,000 registered establishments in the organised sector of tourism and hospitality, which  pay all the taxes and give revenue to the state.

However, there are over 6,000 establishments in the sector which are ‘unorganised’ and mostly operate through Internet, and they  do not pay any taxes to the government.

Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, finance secretary Daulat Hawaldar,  GST commissioner Dipak Bandekar and office bearers and representatives of six industry associations also  attended the meeting.

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