A finance ministry notification said convention and exhibition centres had been included in the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors under the social and commercial infrastructure sub-sector.
“Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre is included in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure Sub-sectors by insertion of a new item in the category of Social and Commercial Infrastructure,” it said.
The benefits available as ‘infrastructure’ projects would only be available for projects with a minimum built-up floor area of 1,00,000 square metres of exclusive exhibition space or convention space or both combined. This includes primary facilities such as exhibition centres, convention halls, auditoriums, plenary halls, business centres, meeting halls etc.
As of now, the major projects under way in the sector are backed by the government – the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centres at Dwarka as well as Pragati Maidan in the capital. The infrastructure tag no longer involves significant tax breaks but would help such projects get easier financing from banks, said experts. However, restrictions on size may be a dampener for some ventures.