Commenting on the statement, Ajay Prakash, President of TAFI said, “At least we will have a more level playing field now. We appreciate that the Government has addressed one of our major concerns. We met the Finance Secretary, Dr. T.V. Somanathan on 14 March and made a presentation on the implications of the hike in the rate of TCS. We had requested for a rollback or at least a reasonable threshold for exemption from TCS. Sadly, neither of those requests has found favour with the Ministry. But we are glad that the FM has heeded our request to create a level playing field and eliminate the negative bias which would have lured overseas travellers away from Indian agents.
We had explained that the Indian travel agent/tour operator would be at a huge disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign entities who were under no obligation to collect TCS; Indian travellers would simply book packages through a foreign agent or website and could make payment, either through a credit card or pay cash on arrival. While the ‘pay at hotel’ challenge persists, the tour package, at least for law-abiding citizens, would now cost the same whether booked through an Indian or a foreign agent.”
In conclusion, he said, “We once again entreat the Hon’ble Finance Minister to consider a reduction in the TCS, or to establish a minimum threshold so that young Indians can travel the world and discover that it is indeed Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”