IATO expresses a deep sense of despair on the FM completely ignoring in her budget speech the plight of the tourism sector and not announcing any sop for the sector when it has borne the maximum brunt of the pandemic.
An extension of the loan under ECLGS has been announced, but it is of no use for the inbound tour operators as they are not able to pay EMIs of the loan they have already taken. Besides banks are not providing fresh loans to the tour operators until they clear their previous loans. Further, the loans are not being given to tour operators who have taken loans under ECLGS 1 and 3.
According to Rajiv Mehra, President IATO, “We had requested one time grant based on our 2019-20 turnover, reduction in GST, restoration and enhancement of SEIS benefit, reducing taxes on International airfares and overall reduction of taxes on the Hospitality sector. Most disappointingly none of these found mentions in the budget presented.”
Mehra adds, “There has been huge employment loss besides financial loss in our sector. Just a few years ago we were earning huge foreign exchange for the government and in this hour of despair, we expected some handholding by the government. We sincerely believe the government would consider some substantial relief in the supplementary demands.”