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Wednesday, 28 October, 2020, 15 : 45 PM [IST]

IATO writes to the PM seeking urgent release of benefits under SEIS

With inbound tourism being worst affected among all segments of travel due to the pandemic, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has written to the Prime Minister for urgent release of Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) benefits for 2019-20, and to increase scrips percentage to 10% from the earlier 7%.

Under the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20, a provision is made for the tourism services to get SEIS scrips benefits every year on their foreign exchange earnings during 2015-20.  “However, for 2019-20, SEIS has not been announced by the government during this difficult time, whereas our members have already spent the funds for marketing, promotions to compete with our neighbouring countries, anticipating that SEIS will be given to tour operators,” the letter reads.  

IATO said that offices of inbound tour operators are closed since March 25, 2020 and there is zero cash flow due to zero business and billing. “All our members are reeling under financial crisis as it has become very difficult for them to manage anymore and survive without any earnings in last 7 months. They are unable to pay salary and support their employees now. There are heavy job losses in the tourism industry due to which skilled tourism manpower who migrated from small cities to big cities are either moving back to their native place or leaving the tourism industry and looking for other jobs for their survival. Thus, this will be a big loss of trained manpower in tourism industry.”
 
“No bank loans are available for us as banks have declared tourism as high-risk business. Therefore, we shall not be able to light the lamps at our home during Diwali as we are heading toward dark Diwali with our families,” IATO argues.

IATO has already made appeals to the Ministries of Tourism, Commerce, Finance, NITI Aayog in this regard.  

 
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