New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking to help the hospitality industry given the large scale cancellation in wake of coronavirus outbreak and India cancelling all tourism visas.
“Sir, you are our Prime Minister and the entire tourism industry is looking up to you to lead us out of this hour of darkness,” wrote the federation.
They have requested for a twelve months moratorium on EMIs of principle and interest payments on loans and working capital from Financial Institutions (both banking & non-banking). Additionally, they have sought for doubling of their working capital limits and on interest free & collateral free terms. This, they say, will prevent all our tourism businesses “from going bankrupt”.
“Sir, additionally to prevent insolvency, we request you for a deferment for twelve months of all statutory dues whether GST, Advance Tax payments, PF, ESIC, customs duties at the Central Government level or at any state government level the excise fees, levies, taxes, power & water charges, bank guarantees & security deposits and deferment of all renewals, across the tourism, travel, hospitality & aviation industry,” they urged with Modi.
There has been job losses and predicted to grow over the coming weeks due to the outbreak. Hence, the federation has asked for a support fund for twelve months on the lines of MNREGA to support basic salaries with ‘direct transfer’ to affected tourism employees.
What’s more? The FAITH has even asked not to introduce Finance Bill 2020 which they claim will result in business from India to overseas, which “will lead to shutting down businesses of most Indian tourism companies”.
For revival, they have also asked for a request a complete GST Tax Holiday for the Tourism, Travel & Hospitality Industry for a period of twelve months.
The long list of demands goes on. “Sir, we request you to grant a 200% weighted exemption for twelve months on expenses to Indian corporates to hold exhibitions, conferences and incentive trips in India. This will be a big shot in the arm and will help revitalise the industry,” read the letter accessed by IANS.
Calling him the ‘ambassador’ of the industry, the federation made this SOS plea to PM Modi.
“Sir as a result of this pandemic, Indian Tourism industry is looking at pan India bankruptcies, closure of businesses and mass unemployment. It is believed that around 70% out of a total estimated workforce of 5.5 crores (direct and indirect) could get unemployed (~ 3.8 crores). This effect of job losses and layoffs has already begun throughout the country…,” reasoned the PM.
The pandemic has indeed given a blow to the industry. But will PM Modi listen in to these long lists of demands to steer out the exasperated industry from this tough time? Well, the federation is keeping its fingers crossed.