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Friday, 04 December, 2020, 10 : 30 AM [IST]

Important to keep tourism enterprises afloat till vaccine arrives: FAITH

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has urged the Government to set up a targeted tourism transition corpus to make available funds on a direct benefit transfer through Ministry of Finance for Indian tourism, travel & hospitality industry, till the vaccine is deployed. 

Reports across the world indicate that by mid-2021 vaccines will be hopefully deployed across most of the international markets and India too. Such a scenario is expected to result in the recovery of the tourism sector, FAITH said in a statement.

Aashish Gupta, Consulting CEO, FAITH, said, “Only after the vaccine comes to India, will tourism demand grow. Till then it is important to keep all the tourism enterprises alive, hence interest free fund needs to be made available.” 

Currently, FAITH said that barring some spurts of domestic travel during long weekends, almost all segments of tourism are non-performing, including inbound tourism, corporate travel, meetings and events travel. All these segments will get unlocked post the deployment of the vaccine, it added.

Till then, FAITH said that there should be a bridge fund targeted at the tourism sector to enable tourism travel and hospitality companies to draw down from that corpus. The corpus can be set up by the Ministry of Finance for direct benefit transfer on an interest-free basis, the apex industry body said.

This draw down from the corpus by the tourism enterprises may be adjustable over five years against their GST and income tax liabilities, it added.

According to FAITH, the draw down will set in motion a virtuous cycle enabling tourism travel and hospitality companies to keep their business and jobs alive, and to be ready for the tourism demand.

Sarab Jit Singh, Founder & Former Vice Chairman FAITH, added, “Setting up a corpus may not serve the cause. In my opinion, the government can pass on their available budget to FAITH, who can be then given the power to distribute the funds according to industry needs.” 
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