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In this issue

A month after Goods and Services Tax (GST) was announced, Hotelier India asks hoteliers, restaurateurs, trade associations, legal experts and tax officials their opinions on this subject. Most seemed pleased that GST has subsumed the erstwhile myriad taxes into one entity as it will streamline operational processes and help them gain input tax credit. But they are concerned about the 28% tax on 5-star hotels, the confusion about published versus declared room tariffs, and the exclusion of alcohol and electricity from the tax ambit. They are also worried about the need for their corporate clients to have GST registration in cities they want to host MICE events. This, they believe, could affect the MICE business compelling customers to take their business outside the country. Since GST is a learning process, they have some suggestions for the government, which you can read in this issue. The cover story features Union Food Processing Industries Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who speaks about the transformation of the Indian food economy, the growth of the F&B industry, and the topic on top of the hospitality industry's mind currently – GST. She points out that almost 60% of food items will be under the lowest tax slab of 0% or 5%. These items constitute a bulk of raw material that goes into further value addition. Hence, the cost of production of processed items is expected to fall and this will help the growth of the food and hospitality industry. That sounds like good news! This issue, we also present some trends and innovations in building materials, ranging from lighting, flooring, HVAC, veneer, etc. While working on this special feature, we found that in an effort to be eco-friendly many hotels today are installing automatic lights and solar panels, others are relying on recycled building materials and organic cleaning supplies. In short, ingenuity is backed by prudence, but customer satisfaction is always kept front and centre.

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