The newly-released Karnataka Tourism Policy 2015-2020 announces a galore of generous concessions and subsidies for eligible entities willing to develop tourism projects in the state.
These concessions encompass rebates, exemption of applicable taxes, charges, duties and others and can be availed by eligible entities based on the geographical pre-defined categories into which they propose to develop tourism projects as outlined in the policy.
The policy defines geographical regions are Focus Tourism Destinations (FTD), Hyderabad Karnataka Region (HKR) and regions of the state categorized into not backward, backward, more backward and most backward places.
FTDs are 40 places identified across the state for tourism development under urban tourism, heritage tourism, nature tourism (Western Ghats), wildlife tourism, wellness tourism, religious tourism and coastal tourism, while Afzalpur, Aland, Chincholi, Chittapura, Kalaburgi, Jevargi and Sedam of Kalaburgi district and Shahpura, Surpura and Yadgir of Yadgir district constitute the HKR.
The policy offers 100 percent exemption on stamp duty and 100 percent reimbursement of land conversion fee for developing tourism projects in FTDs, HKR, most backward and more backward regions.
Investments in tourism projects have been categorized into mega projects for projects valued between Rs.100 crore and Rs.500 crore, ultra mega projects for projects valued between Rs.500 crore and Rs.1,000 crore and super mega projects for projects valued above Rs.1,000 crore.
As per the new policy, mega projects are eligible for 100 percent entry tax exemption on plant and machinery and capital goods for a period of five years from the date of commencement of project implementation.
Entertainment parks classified as ultra mega projects and super mega projects are eligible for reimbursement of entertainment tax for the first five years.
Tour operators and tourism project proponents in Karnataka will be exempt from paying motor vehicle tax for a maximum of five vehicles bought for tourism-related activities.