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Monday, 16 March, 2020, 14 : 30 PM [IST]

FAITH calls on Tourism Minister demanding a slew of relaxations for recovery from the current pandemic

With the unprecedented pandemic crisis engulfing the travel & tourism industry, the FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality) along with all the member associations - (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI IATO, IHHA, ITTA, ICPB, TAAI and TAFI) called on the Union Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel seeking his assistance and response to the current situation. 

Moreover, stakeholders have requested the Tourism Minister’s assistance in to secure a meeting with the Prime Minister to present their case.

The delegation presented a crisis revival plan to the Minister demanding relaxation across key areas. This included a 200% weighted exemption of expenses to corporates on all domestic conferences, proposal for 6-9 months moratorium on all principle and interest payments on loans and overdrafts along with deferment of GST & Advance Tax payments and removal of fees for any upcoming licenses/permits renewal. They also pressed for excise exemption for liquor for the hospitality and travel industry across the states, and a GST holiday for the tourism, travel & hospitality industry for the next 12 months until the recovery. 
The delegation requested for restoration of the SEIS (Service Exports from India Scheme)  scrips for duty credit of 10% to tourism, travel & hospitality industry, and relaxation in MDA terms. 
The industry put forth their suggestion of setting up a national tourism task with representatives from the Centre and states to develop a revival plan, and fast track approvals for investments. 

Stakeholders at the meeting were unanimous in their opinion to direct airlines to not levy cancellation fees and issue full refunds or credit notes. 

Some of the other recommendations include:
Usage of the MNREGA funds to support salaries of employees in the Tourism, Travel & Hospitality industry till the time revival happens.

Fast track all GST refunds for the industry wherever they are getting stuck.

300 basis point interest rate reduction and immediate transmission to the industry on term loans and working capital loans.

The proposed TCS on travel in Finance Bill 2020 not to be introduced.

Automatic increase in working capital limits by 50%.

Removal of X-Visa requirement for peaks.

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