The FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality) had an urgent meeting with Ministry of Commerce yesterday to discuss measures on tourism exports. FAITH requested the Ministry of Commerce to request Piyush Goyal, who is both, the Commerce and the Industries Minister to take up the request for the survival support for the whole tourism travel & hospitality industry with the Prime Minster.
Some of the points of discussion include rating the SEIS (Service Exports from India Scheme) at 10% and crediting it immediately on the basis of previous financial year, deemed export status, SEIS on gross forex earnings, zero rating of tourism exports & GST refunds to tourists, strategic focus on mice sector, EPCG on tourist vehicles and relaxing export obligations among others.
Most of the tourism enterprises support their infrastructure (hard & soft) by managing different tourist seasons. As all global source markets are hit, it will be domestic business of India which will keep India tourism businesses running.
FAITH demanded deferment of all statutory liabilities, setting up a COVID-19 Tourism relief fund for interest free 10 year working capital loan for salaries and establishment costs, increase of banking moratorium period to 12 months without any interest for or for direct benefit transfer to affected employees and a national legislative tourism task force of central and state governments.
FAITH has also requested ESI funds to be used for compensating employees as ‘stay at home’ is a forced and mandatory curative medical need to fight the virus. They have also requested PF coverage of all tourism travel & hospitality employees as under the PM Rozgar Pradhan Yojana.
FAITH has also shared examples from the US & UK, Thailand and Indonesia where salary support, taxes exemption and stimulation of domestic travel is being extended by governments for tourism, travel & hospitality.
FAITH was joined by the Chairmen/Vice Chairmen of the Tourism Committees of CII, ASSOCHAM and FICCI along with the Presidents of the concerned FAITH member associations (HAI, IATO, FHRAI, ATOAI, ICPB, ITTA IHHA, ADTOI, TAAI & TAFI).