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FAITH chairman writes to PM Modi for help as tourism industry suffers due to Coronavirus

FAITH chairman writes to PM Modi for help as tourism industry suffers due to Coronavirus

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 20 Mar 2020, 08:06 am

New Delhi/IBNS: Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) chairman Nakul Anand has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help the tourism industry which has taken a beating due to the outbreak of the deadly Novel Coronavirus.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Anand said the tourism industry is staring at a mass unemployment and bankruptcy as the country is going an "unprecedented emergency" situation.

Anand wrote, "Sir, as a result of this pandemic, your tourism industry in India has reached dire straits today and is staring at mass unemployment and bankruptcies. We urgently
seek your kind intervention.

With declining revenues almost all tourism businesses are running out of working capital. However, with the responsibility of staff and payment of their salaries, EMIs to service, advance tax, PF, ESIC, GST, excise and other state levies, bank guarantees, security deposits, this industry needs your support now more than ever.

Sir, this is a time of an unprecedented emergency and our request to you is for an equally befitting response for the tourism industry’s immediate survival."

He has requested "for a twelve months moratorium on our EMIs of principle and interest payments on loans and working capital from Financial Institutions (both banking & non-banking). Additionally, we request for doubling of our working capital limits and on interest free & collateral free terms. This will prevent all our tourism businesses from going bankrupt".

He added, "We request you for a deferment for twelve months of all statutory dues whether GST, Advance Tax payments, PF, ESIC, customs duties at the Central Government level or at any state government level the  excise fees, levies,  taxes, power and water charges, bank guarantees & security deposits and deferment of all renewals, across the tourism, travel, hospitality and aviation industry.

Sir we request you to set up a support fund for twelve months on the lines of MNREGA to support basic salaries with ‘direct transfer’ to affected tourism employees."

Anand has also asked the Prime Minister to defer an increase in "any insurance premium for a period of 12 months such as for example for Standard fire and special perils rate for fire, loss or profits".

"We request you to grant a 200% weighted exemption for twelve months on expenses to Indian corporates to hold exhibitions, conferences and incentive trips in India. This will be a big shot in the arm and will help revitalise the industry," he requested.

He added, "To promote foreign exchange earnings for when the recovery starts happening, we request for restoration of 10% duty credit of SEIS scrips. Additionally, to kick start the working capital the previous year’s foreign exchange earnings can be taken as a reference point for credit.  

Finally we request you to set up under your inspiring leadership, a national tourism task force of all relevant ministries of the Central  Government along with ministry of tourism
and chief secretaries of State governments and industry stakeholders to meet regularly to fast track all tourism investment approvals."

Several airlines across the globe have suspended flights to various destinations amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

India have decided to suspend the landing of all international commercial flights in the country for a week beginning on Mar 22.

Image Credit: ITC Hotels Twitter