ASSOCHAM National Council on Tourism and Hospitality has reached out to the government for an immediate relief package, including long-tenured debt restructuring and priority in vaccination for the hospitality industry. ASSOCHAM stated that thousands of micro, small and medium businesses have been dislodged due to the mortifying economic impact of COVID-19 and require urgent help.
In a presentation to the ministries of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Finance, External Affairs, and the RBI, ASSOCHAM General Secretary Deepak Sood said, "Tourism and hospitality industry helps create large scale employment and revenue for the government. The sector is also the lifeline of thousands of MSMEs.” It thereby needs immediate short-term packages consisting of easy credit lines for at least two years in order to pay salaries to the employees.
The chamber has further requested priority vaccination for employees of the sector, including cab drives, part-time workers, hotel staff, tourist guides, and other service providers. Also, an E-tourist visa should be granted to the fully vaccinated tourists with a negative RT-PCR report. Moreover, international flights should commence operations, at least from the countries which have air-bubble agreements with the Indian government.
ASSOCHAM chamber has urged the Centre to waive electricity, excise and statutory charges. It also requested the Ministry of Finance and GST Council to accept the demand for GST input credit for the hospitality sector.
Another demand is the immediate release of Services Export Incentive Scheme (SEIS) Scrips for tour operators and hoteliers. While the SEIS scrips for FY2020 are still in the works, the rate for SEIS scrips should be increased from 7% to 10%.
Source: BW Hotelier