Coronavirus: Rs 3,570 crore loss due to cancelled events, need govt support, says IEIA
The impact of COVID-19 outbreak on exhibiting and trade show industry has been unprecedented with multiple global and national events being postponed or cancelled in the country, IEIA said in a statement.
"...in last few weeks more than 90 shows have been reported to be either postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 during the time-period, summing up to approximately 15 per cent of the total events conducted annually in the organised sector, with a resultant estimated loss of Rs 3,570 crore for the entire sector and this may increase if COVID-19 crisis lingers on," IEIA President S Balasubramanian said.
According to him, the size of Indian exhibition industry is Rs 23,800 crore, with more than 550 events conducted annually in the organised sector.
"The exhibition industry sector enables trade/business transaction of over Rs 3,00,000 crore, boosting and supporting the growth of various spectrum of industries while also being a colossal employment provider with nearly 1,20,000 people employed in this industry," Balasubramanian said, adding that in the past few years the sector has been clocking a steady annual growth of about 10 per cent.
Terming the current situation as "unprecedented times", he said, "We are requesting the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance to take note of the challenges affecting the exhibition organisers, exhibition venues and numerous service providers who are completely dependent on this industry."
"We request the government for intervention to support the sector, which has the potential to support the recovery of various other industries," he added.
IEIA said it has asked the government to create an "Exhibitions in India" economic stimulus support package and offer a 10 per cent incentive to Indian exhibition management companies to organise shows in India and help recover the losses incurred in these critical times, reduction of GST rate for all exhibition services from existing 18 per cent to 12 per cent with immediate effect.
Moreover, it has also asked for deferment of GST and Income Tax for six to nine months, subsidising venue rentals for government owned venues, 100 per cent subsidy on participation charges to be given to MSME/NSIC units.The other demands of the industry include collateral-free working capital loans facilities for exhibition organisers, service providers and venue owners (for payment of salaries, wages, fixed costs etc.) to be made available at zero rate of interest, among others, IEIA said. RKL RVK
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