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Wednesday, 28 October, 2020, 18 : 05 PM [IST]

Immediate release of SEIS benefits to help sustain inbound operators for 6 months: IATO

In the absence of any relief to the travel & tourism industry in India, stakeholders of inbound tourism, which is the worst affected industry vertical, are pinning hopes on the Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) benefits due to them for the FY 2019-20. 

Speaking to TravelBiz Monitor, Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), said, “Every year, we receive the SEIS benefits through direct bank transfer by June-July. However, in this crucial year, the benefits are delayed and we are almost reaching November. There is a massive cash flow requirement since we have to pay salaries and office rents at a time when there has been no billing since March. We are seeking urgent release of our dues which will allow us to sustain for the coming 6 months. Without any immediate help, we will be staring at large-scale bankruptcies, and additional job losses.”

Sarkar estimates that dues amounting to INR 2,000-2,500 crore for tour & travel and medical tourism are pending to approximate 750 operators registered under SEIS with the Director General of Foreign Trade. 

“At a time when the Central government has announced bonus for its employees and has redirected LTC funds for consumer goods purchase, we fail to understand the delay in releasing our legitimate benefits. We have already spent our own resources on overseas marketing and promotions, and with tourism being the worst hit, even banks have termed the segment high-risk, and are denying us any loans,” he stated. 
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