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FM announces financial support to over 11,000 registered tourist guides, stakeholders to revive tourism sector

Monday, June 28, 2021, 18:26 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Mumbai

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced financial support to over 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel agents and tourism stakeholders under the new loan guarantee scheme.


"The personal loans or working capital will be provided to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19 pandemic," the Finance Minister said while addressing a press conference.


Under the new loan guarantee scheme, Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) -- recognised by the Ministry of Tourism -- will be able to get INR 10,00,000 loans per agency with 100 percent guarantee. Also, a provision to provide loan of INR1,00,000 for tourist guides licensed at regional or state level has been made.


The Finance Ministry assured that there will be no requirement for any processing charges, waiver of foreclosure or prepayment charges, or additional collateral for these personal loans.


Sitharaman mentioned in her address that this new loan scheme will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides who are recognised by the Ministry of Tourism and tourist guides recognised by the state governments. The scheme will be administered by Ministry of Tourism through NCGTC.

Colonel Manbeer Choudhary, Chairman cum Managing Director, Jewels Group of Hotels said, "The announcement made  by the Government of India, Honorable Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to breathe new life into the Indian Tourism and Hospitality industry which has gone through one of the worst struggles during the pandemic. The new initiative for encouraging travelers by making first 5 lakh visas free, job benefits and extending Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana and loan guarantees for covid affected sectors such as tourism would support the industry immensely. Without these initiatives it would have taken the industry much longer to bounce back. These initiatives have shown the thoughtfulness and inclusive approach of the government. These initiatives are not only encouraging and progressive towards attracting global travellers. But also reassuring and supportive for the tourism and hospitality brands along with nurturing towards the people who work in the industry. The fight has been tough and lengthy, it is time we brace ourselves for a better future and the government is guiding us to that future to reboot the economy."

MP Bezbaruah, Secretary-General, Hotel Association of India, said, “FM's announcement on free visas has a very strong symbolic message that we have the confidence to welcome visitors and that tourism and hospitality is a strong pillar of post-Covid economic recovery strategy. We sincerely hope that such measures will be logically followed by measures to make the industry recover and be ready to welcome tourists. Measures like liquidity support and exemption from statutory taxes. HAI would like to compliment the FM on this initiative and look forward to some more pragmatic initiatives to create jobs and livelihoods through a rejuvenated Tourism and Hospitality industry. As always HAI will be there for a committed role to be played by the Tourism and Hospitality industry in the national economic development programme."

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