Sharing concerns of the travel and tourism industry over the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 on the highly job-oriented sector, ASSOCHAM has reached out to the government seeking an urgent relief package, comprising long-tenure debt restructuring and priority in vaccination of the staff engaged in the hospitality industry.
In a presentation for the ministries of Tourism, Finance, External Affairs, Civil Aviation, and the RBI, the ASSOCHAM National Council on Tourism and Hospitality has said that thousands of MSMEs have been displaced in the sector and their rehabilitation would require liberal and immediate help.
”Tourism, restaurant and hotel industry contributes to generating large scale employment and revenue generation for the government. The sector is also the lifeline of thousands of micro small and medium businesses,” ASSOCHAM Secretary General, Deepak Sood said. He said the sector would require immediate short-term packages comprising easy and quick credit lines for at least two years to help retain staff and pay them salaries.
The chamber has impressed upon the government to consider granting E-Tourist Visa for all those who are fully vaccinated and have negative RT-PCR Tests.
People employed in the sector, including part-time workers, cab drivers, tourist guides, hotel staff and third party/ service providers should be vaccinated on priority basis. Besides, the scheduled international flights should start at least from the countries with which India has ‘ air bubble’ agreements.
The chamber has also urged the Finance Ministry and the GST Council to accept a long-pending demand from the hospitality sector for GST input credit so that the cascading impact in the value chain is neutralised.
It also urged the Centre and the states to waive electricity, excise and other statutory charges. Immediate release of Services Export Incentive Scheme (SEIS) Scrips for the tour operators and hoteliers is another demand put forward by the ASSOCHAM. ” The SEIS scrips for 2019-20 are still pending and be cleared. At the same time, the rate for the SEIS scrips should be raised from 7 per cent to 10 per cent.”