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Monday, 12 October, 2020, 17 : 11 PM [IST]
Redirecting LTC funds for consumer goods purchase defeats the idea of industry revival through domestic tourism: FAITH
TBM Staff | Mumbai

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has expressed disappointment for the Indian travel & tourism industry that LTC (leave travel concession) funds of government employees are being redirected to buy consumer goods. 

Coming on the back of a prolonged lockdown, the Indian travel & tourism industry was looking at festive season holidays boost travel demand when people look to travel to their home state. 

“After almost 8 months of nil to now very limited tourism activity, festive season was one of the few demand drivers that the Indian tourism travel & hospitality industry was looking forward to, and the industry was hoping for more tax based stimulus in the hands of all citizens to travel when spent against GST rated travel agents, hotels tour operators, tourist transporters and restaurants. Instead redirecting the LTC money of government employees to buy consumer goods would dry up those funds for the travel sector. Additionally, it would also send a vote of no confidence to the tourism travel and hospitality industry which was looking to get back on its feet after ‘Unlock’.” 

Additionally, FAITH said that this is a 4-year block scheme will also cut away funds for future travel demand source for the next year when the LTC block ends in 2021. “This thus goes against the spirit of domestic tourism push and year 2021 as domestic tourism year being planned by Tourism Ministry. It is requested that not only be the LTC funds be restored but also an income tax benefit be introduced for all citizens to get income  tax exemption  while travelling within India up to INR 1.5 lakhs against GST registered  travel agents, hotels tour operators, tourist transporters and restaurants.” 

Additionally the way states are being extended  tax free funds payable over 50 year, the tourism industry which is the most stressed currently, and also the most employee intensive be  given similar tax free funds on a direct benefit transfer for salaries and operating costs payable over 10 years post COVID.