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Kerala Govt sets up Revolving Fund to support tourism sector workers

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Kerala Government has set up a Revolving Fund to provide interest-free loans up to Rs 10,000 to those employed in a wide range of activities in the tourism sector without any collateral security, as part of schemes to revive the pandemic-hit industry that provides jobs to thousands across the state.

As per the Government Order issued in this regard, the Revolving Fund has an initial corpus of Rs 10 crore, Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas said.

‚ÄúThis fund comes when the tourism sector is poised for the post-pandemic surge. All those who are working in this vital sector can avail the benefit of this scheme to revive their activities‚ÄĚ, the Minister said.

Those who are employed in a range of activities related to the tourism industry with membership in any of the registered tourism sector organizations will be eligible for the loan under the scheme. Those engaged in units registered under the Responsible Tourism (RT) mission are also entitled to apply for the loan.

Accordingly, assistance will be available to those working for tour operators, travel agencies, tourist taxi operators, houseboats and shikara boat operators, hotels, resorts, restaurants, serviced villas, tourist farms, ayurveda centres, adventure tourism ventures, micro units under RT mission, performing and martial arts troupes and tour guides holding licence of India Tourism or Kerala Tourism.

In order to get the benefit, the employee should be working in an entity which has approval of State Tourism Department/Tourism Ministry or membership of Kerala Travel Mart Society or any other recognized tourism-related organisation.

The beneficiary will have to repay the loan within two years after the one-year moratorium period. The scheme will be implemented through the RT Mission. The application has to be submitted online, for which a digital platform will be set up soon.

A panel with Tourism Director as Chairman and RT Mission Coordinator as Convener has been formed to consider the applications and sanction loans.

The panel has, as its members, Finance Officer of Tourism Department, Deputy Director (Marketing), Tourism, two nominees each of KTM, ATTOI, home-stay owners association and Tourism Care Foundation, president or nominee of Kerala Tourism Professional Club, a representative from adventure tourism sector, Tourism Protection Council president/nominee and a representative of licenced tour guides association.

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