Finance Ministry grants “infrastructure status for convention centres”

What is the News?

The Finance Ministry has granted infrastructure status for exhibition and convention centres. The expectation from this move is to ease bank financing for such projects.

What is Infrastructure Status?
  • The Department of Economic Affairs(DAE), Ministry of Finance will grant the Infrastructure Status.
  • Benefits: The status helps projects in such sectors to get easier financing from banks. However, the status no longer involves significant tax breaks.

Infrastructure Status for convention centres:

  • Firstly, The government included ‘Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure. This is done by creating a new category under Social and Commercial Infrastructure.
  • Secondly, however, The benefits are not available to all convention centres. The benefits will be available only for projects with a minimum built-up floor area of 1,00,000 square metres with exclusive exhibition space or convention space or both combined.
  • Thirdly, these include primary facilities such as exhibition centres, convention halls, auditoriums, plenary halls, business centres, meeting halls among others.
Why this move?
  • India doesn’t have large convention centres or single halls with capacities to hold 7,000 to 10,000 people.
  • On the other hand, countries such as Thailand are a major global MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destination.
  • Hence, granting infrastructure status will help the sector to generate significant financing for the projects.

Note: In August 2020, the Government of India had granted ‘Infrastructure’ status for affordable rental housing projects.

Source: The Hindu

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