Karnataka on Monday announced tax exemptions for tourist vehicles heading to Mysuru and Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) from other states during nine days of Dasara festivities.
A notification from the Transport Department stated that tourist vehicles registered in other states and those which pay road tax in those states would be exempted from paying entry tax in Karnataka between October 16 and 24.
Vehicles will be eligible only if they are heading to Mysuru city and the KRS dam located in Srirangapatna, Mandya district, during the nine days of Dasara festivities. They will have to obtain special permits to become eligible for tax exemptions.
Radhakrishna Holla, president of the Karnataka State Travel Operators’ Association, welcomed the decision but said it should have come a week sooner.
According to him, maxi cabs, taxis and tourist buses from Kerala and Tamil Nadu will benefit from the tax exemptions. He estimates that 2,000 taxis, 1,000 maxi cabs and 300 tourist buses enter Mysuru and the surrounding tourist destinations every day during Dasara.
The entry fee is Rs 300 for taxis, Rs 1,800-2,000 for maxi cabs and up to Rs 15,000 for buses depending on their seating capacity. The fee is charged per entry and is valid for seven days, he added.
Holla said the tax exemptions would draw more tourists to Mysuru and KRS during Dasara, improve hotel occupancy and boost the local economy. He sought similar tax exemptions for vehicles entering Mangaluru, which is famous for its own Dasara. The Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Associations, which represents 32 unions, had feared that the government would not announce the tax exemptions this year because of the losses incurred due to the free bus travel scheme for women.
The federation’s president, S Nataraj Sharma, said the denial of tax exemptions would “badly affect” hotels, restaurants and businesses that heavily depend on Dasara for tourist arrivals.
(Published 16 October 2023, 23:49 IST)