ASSOCHAM calls for priority vaccination for travel, tourism staff and other relief measures for the hotel sector
ASSOCHAM’s National Tourism and Hospitality Council says thousands of MSMEs have been displaced in the sector and their rehabilitation will require liberal and immediate aid.
Sharing concerns from the travel and tourism industry over the devastating economic impact of Covid-19 on the highly employment-oriented sector, ASSOCHAM contacted the government seeking an urgent aid plan , including a restructuring of long-term debt and a priority to the vaccination of staff working in the hotel sector.
In a presentation to the Ministries of Tourism, Finance, External Affairs, Civil Aviation and RBI, the National Tourism and Hospitality Council of ASSOCHAM said thousands of MSMEs have been displaced in sector and that their rehabilitation would require liberal and immediate aid. .
ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood said, ”The tourism, restaurant and hospitality industry helps generate large-scale jobs and income for the government. The sector is also the lifeline of thousands of micro small and medium enterprises.He said the industry would need immediate short-term packages that include easy and quick lines of credit for at least two years to help retain staff and pay them salaries.
The chamber urged the government to consider granting an electronic tourist visa to anyone who is fully vaccinated and has negative RT-PCR tests. People employed in the sector, including part-time workers, taxi drivers, tour guides, hotel staff and third parties / service providers should be vaccinated as a priority. In addition, scheduled international flights are expected to start at least from countries with which India has “air bubble” agreements.
The chamber also urged the Ministry of Finance and the GST Council to accept a long-standing demand from the hotel industry for the GST input credit so that the cascading impact on the value chain is neutralized. He also urged the Center and states to forgo electricity, excise duties and other statutory charges.
The immediate release of Service Export Incentive Program (SEIS) scripts for tour operators and hoteliers is another request put forward by ASSOCHAM. ”SEIS scripts for 2019-2020 are still pending and should be cleared. At the same time, the rate for SEIS scripts should be increased from 7 to 10 percent.. ”