Sat. May 25th, 2024,online news,19th,march,National: Greetings from FAITH – Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality. We are the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India, interacting closely with the Ministry of Tourism on various policy issues. Sir, to begin with, the entire tourism industry wants to thank you as you have been the biggest brand ambassador of tourism that our country has ever seen, both for inbound travel from foreigners and for domestic travel by Indians. You have given Destination India the respect that it has always deserved. You make us proud as Indians. Tourism, in particular, has always been one of your key priorities. From adventure, heritage, meetings & conventions, cruises, rural to all other segments of tourism.Sir, we also want to thank you for leading us through our proactive and Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel and the complete tourism ministry. They are constantly guiding us on all our initiatives. Sir, the entire tourism industry fully appreciates the breath-taking speed with which your government has worked to contain the spread of COVID-19 in India while also evacuating stranded Indians from around the world.  as a result of this pandemic, your tourism industry in India has reached dire straits today and is staring at mass unemployment and bankruptcies. We urgently seek your kind intervention. With declining revenues almost all tourism businesses are running out of working capital. However, with the responsibility of staff and payment of their salaries, EMIs to service, advance tax, PF, ESIC, GST, excise and other state levies, bank guarantees, security deposits, this industry needs your support now more than ever. this is a time of an unprecedented emergency and our request to you is for an equally befitting response for the tourism industry’s immediate survival. we request you for a twelve months moratorium on our EMIs of principle and interest payments on loans and working capital from Financial Institutions (both banking & non-banking). Additionally, we request for doubling of our working capital limits and on interest free & collateral free terms. This will prevent all our tourism businesses from going bankrupt. additionally to prevent insolvency, we request you for a deferment for twelve months of all statutory dues whether GST, Advance Tax payments, PF, ESIC, customs duties at the Central Government level or at any state government level the  excise fees, levies,  taxes, power & water charges, bank guarantees & security deposits and deferment of all renewals, across the tourism, travel, hospitality & aviation industry. we request you to set up a support fund for twelve months on the lines of MNREGA to support basic salaries with ‘direct transfer’ to affected tourism employees. TCS (tax collected at source) on travel has been proposed in Finance Bill 2020 to be levied from 1st April 2020 and we request that it not to be introduced as it will displace business from India to overseas, which will lead to shutting down businesses of most Indian tourism companies. we request for a deferment of increase in any insurance premium for a period of 12 months such as for example for Standard fire and special perils rate for fire, loss or profits. for Indian tourism to start preparing for revival we request a complete GST Tax Holiday for the Tourism, Travel & Hospitality Industry for a period of twelve months. With almost nil revenues there is hardly going to be any GST collection. But a gesture of this nature will make a very strong statement and will promote both domestic and inbound travel. we request you to grant a 200% weighted exemption for twelve months on expenses to Indian corporates to hold exhibitions, conferences and incentive trips in India. This will be a big shot in the arm and will help revitalise the industry. to promote foreign exchange earnings for when the recovery starts happening, we request for restoration of 10% duty credit of SEIS scrips. Additionally, to kick start the working capital the previous year’s foreign exchange earnings can be taken as a reference point for credit. finally we request you to set up under your inspiring leadership, a national tourism task force of all relevant ministries of the Central  Government along with ministry of tourism and chief secretaries of State governments and industry stakeholders to meet regularly to fast track all tourism investment approvals. as a result of this pandemic, Indian Tourism industry is looking at pan India bankruptcies, closure of businesses and mass unemployment. It is believed that around 70% out of a total estimated workforce of 5.5 crores (direct and indirect) could get unemployed (~ 3.8 crores).  This effect of job losses and layoffs has already begun throughout the country. A large % of total tourism business activity of India, which is estimated at $ 28 billion+ in forex and upwards of ₹ 2 lakh crores in domestic tourism activity will be at economic risk through the year. Thus, in excess of ₹ 5 lakh crores of direct tourism industry and almost double that of total economic activity is at risk. you are our Prime Minister and the entire tourism industry is looking up to you to lead us out of this hour of darkness. our country, the safety and health of its citizens comes first and the whole tourism Industry is with you and behind you till whatever it takes for a complete recovery.