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Assocham seeks relief measures, priority vax for hospitality, tourism sector

Monday, July 5, 2021, 15:00 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

In a presentation for the ministries of tourism, finance, external affairs, civil aviation and RBI, the Assocham National Council on Tourism and Hospitality has said that thousands of MSMEs have been displaced in the sector and their rehabilitation would require liberal and immediate help.

''Tourism, restaurant and hotel industry contributes to generating large scale employment and revenue generation for the government. The sector is also a lifeline of thousands of micro small and medium businesses," said Assocham secretary general Deepak Sood. The sector, Sood added, would require immediate short-term packages comprising easy and quick credit lines for at least two years to help retain staff and pay them salaries.

The chamber has also asked the government to consider granting e-tourist visa for all those who are fully vaccinated and have negative RT-PCR tests.

Emphasizing the importance of vaccinating people employed in the sector, the industry body stated that part-time workers, cab drivers, tourist guides, hotel staff and third party/service providers should be vaccinated on a priority basis. Besides, the scheduled international flights should start at least from the countries with which India has 'air bubble' agreements.

The chamber has also urged the finance ministry and GST Council to accept a long-pending demand from the hospitality sector for GST input credit so that the cascading impact in the value chain is neutralized. It also urged the Centre and the states to waive electricity, excise, and other statutory charges.

Immediate release of Services Export Incentive Scheme (SEIS) Scrips for the tour operators and hoteliers is another demand put forward by Assocham. Currently, the SEIS scrips for 2019-20 are still pending and be cleared. At the same time, the rate for the SEIS scrips should be raised from 7% to 10%.

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