8 Jun 2020 Patrick

Casino Pride Goa's Shrinivas Naik Calls For Income Tax Break

Goa casino boss calls for an income tax holiday to help tourism and leisure industries

As industries and companies across India face up to the economic damage wreaked from coronavirus and the resulting lockdown, Goa-based Casino Pride director Shrinivas Naik has put forward his suggestions to the government to aid the tourism and leisure sectors.

In a letter, Naik proposed that the government should pay the entire EPF and ESIC contribution of all employees from the Labour welfare fund, in addition to a three-year income tax holiday.

Naik pointed to how the worldwide tourism industry has been devastated over the past few months and, even as restrictions are lifted on travel, people will be reluctant to take breaks.

He pushed for hotel chains to take aggressive steps in marketing and promotion with the reduction of room rates, free extras and improved facilities,

Naik said: "Hence in order to reduce overall cost of operation and increase funds for disposal in the hands of the industry, the government should provide tax holidays including MAT, for at least three years beginning from FY 2020-21."

He also urged authorities to "allow the industry to pay minimum sustenance allowance to its employees during lockdown period and post lockdown period of six months."

The government should order employees, who have been taking a salary during the lockdown, to stay with their company for at least six months until April 2021.

Banks have been requested to waive off interest on borrowed capital for six months and defer EMI for six months. Naik also called for financial service providers to provide working capital loans at a subsidised rate of interest.

Other demands from Naik are for state governments to not charge MD charges on electricity for six months, and for the state government to step in and order internet service providers not to charge monthly lease line charges for the lockdown period.

Commenting on taxes, he asked the GST council to allow input credit of all fixed expenses incurred during the lockdown period from the GST payable post-lockdown.

Goa's casinos have been closed since 15 March, and there are no plans to open them soon.

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