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FHRAI welcomes the relief measures announced by the FM

Sunday, July 4, 2021, 11:03 Hrs  [IST]

Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has welcomed the new relief measures announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister recently. The apex Hospitality Association has requested the Government to undertake relevant measures to make the newly announced schemes more effective in implementation by setting up a redressal mechanism to ease bottlenecks in the system. It stated that presently the industry is not in a position to service the loans since there is no cash flow and additionally it is burdened with statutory liabilities and operating expenses. The short term credit schemes are not sufficient to mitigate the larger issues faced by the sector. The FHRAI has also stressed on the need to focus on reviving domestic tourism in the country. “The FHRAI thanks the Government for sanctioning Rs.60,000 Cr under the 1.1 lakh Cr Guarantee Scheme for COVID19 affected sectors as well as for provisioning an additional 1.5 lakh Cr under the ECLGS. We request the Government to undertake measures to make the already announced schemes more effective such as setting up a redressal mechanism to resolve complaints against banks, making a separate resolution framework for hospitality, providing similar tenor and moratorium facilities for ECLGS 1.0 & 2.0 as of ECLGS 3.0. The two successive waves of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have caused colossal damage to the industry and hence we request the Government to extend the tenor of the Loan Guarantee Scheme for at least 10 years and also offer direct grants to the Hospitality sector as the revival of the sector is extremely difficult without any direct support from the Government,” says Mr Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI. The FHRAI has welcomed the Government’s decision to issue 5 lakh tourist Visas free of cost. It has stated that the move will ignite the tourism sector once again and will promote foreign travel to the country once the situation normalizes. “We are happy to note that the disastrous state of affairs of the sector and the plight of millions of workforce employed in the sector are recognized. To issue 5 lakh tourist visas free of cost is a great way to attract international tourists to India and is a welcome move. However, under the prevailing circumstances, it may take some time before impositions are eased and for FTAs to resume. Meanwhile, the Government should focus on reviving domestic tourism and undertake special measures for its promotion as an immediate step. We request that the threshold limit for charging GST at 18 per cent on hotel room tariffs be raised from the present Rs.7500/- to Rs.9500/- for bringing parity of rates between the Rupee and the Dollar. Also, the threshold limit for zero GST for hotel rooms should be raised from the present Rs.1000/- to Rs.2000/- per room per day. The move will boost the lower budget segment, thus encouraging domestic travel and promoting the tourism sector in a big way. Also allowing valid GST hotel bills of any State other than the home State of the Individual assessee paid for by digital mode exempt under section 80C for an additional amount of Rs50,000/- will encourage citizens to travel within India which will further give a much-needed impetus to hotels as well as ancillary industries. With restricted foreign travel, the promotion of domestic tourism is the need of the hour. Therefore, we request the Government to incentivize domestic tourism as well,” concludes Mr Pradeep Shetty, Jt. Hon. Sec., FHRAI.

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