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Sunday, 09 April, 2017, 14 : 00 PM [IST]

Jobs at risk as alcohol sale ban in India harms tourism: WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) urges the Indian government to co-ordinate a countrywide response to the Supreme Court ruling, which has banned the sale of alcohol within close proximity of highways in the country. The move is going to have significant negative effect on hotels and restaurants in this zone, and will curtail future job creating investment in the industry.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “While we acknowledge the importance of implementing policies that address the abuse of alcohol when driving, we call on the Indian Government to reverse or amend the current ruling. I do not believe that this ban was aimed at the travel industry. It is an unbalanced approach that will have negative consequences for the country’s economy, as business and leisure customers cancel their bookings in those establishments affected.

The impact of the ban on drunk driving is impossible to measure, as businesses beyond the stipulated 500 meters will still be allowed to sell alcohol. Businesses within the proposed banned distance, including many hotels, restaurants and bars that serve tourists, will lose customers and revenue. This not only means less income but also means that many people will lose their jobs as a direct result.”
Scowsill  also said, “Travel & Tourism is an extremely important income stream within the country, the sector contributed INR14.1 trillion (USD208.9 billion) or 9.6% of India’s GDP in 2016 and supported over 40.3 million jobs, which is 9.3% of total employment in the country.

Against this backdrop, WTTC urged the government to review of the alcohol ban judgement which will prevent revenue losses and large job losses. Apart from this, WTTC also urged the government to apply GST at the lower levels in the forthcoming GST reforms. According to them18% standard rate is uncompetitive and simply too high. However, WTTC congratulated India on the new electronic visa on arrival scheme. There is a need to introduce multi entry visas and to promote awareness of the scheme, it noted.
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