Diaspora delegates exempted from luxury tax (Diaspora Diary)

January 7th, 2009 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 7 (IANS) True to the Indian credo “athithi devo bhava” or “guest is like god”, the Tamil Nadu government has exempted delegates attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual convention of people of Indian origin, from paying the luxury tax charged by star hotels.The seventh edition of the event, which starts Wednesday evening, is being held in Chennai for the first time.

The state government has requested the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to send a list of delegates, and details of their rooms, hotels and the tariff paid by them for extending the benefit.

Around 1,500 delegates from over 40 countries are expected to participate in the three- day meet.

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Colourful billboards greet NRIs, PIOs

Tamil Nadu’s capital city was known for its giant hoardings until the Supreme Court banned the eyesores.

But to give people of Indian origin the local flavour during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas -2009, billboards have been put up by various political parties praising their leaders on the roads leading to the Chennai Trade Centre, the conference venue.

While the boards put up by members of the Congress party praise and welcome its President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, those put up by the cadres of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) are in praise of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and other party leaders.

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Time to entice NRIs with tour packages

What better time to hardsell tourism packages than the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas? The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corp (TTDC) is offering two tour packages for participants at the seventh edition of the diaspora meet here.

Targeting the 1,500-odd delegates arriving from over 40 countries, TTDC is offering one-day and two-day tour packages.

The one-day tour will be for separate sightseeing in Chennai, Mahabalipuram and Puducherry and a pilgrimage to Tirupathi, which would cost $50. A two-day package for Kanchipuram-Vellore-Yelagir will cost $200.

According to a tourism department official, around 30 bookings have been made already.

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