Tourism bodies demand extension of RBI moratorium, interest waiver to tide over COVID-19 crisis

New Delhi, Apr 4 () Tourism stakeholders have raised concerns that the government failed to address the survival crisis being faced by the industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and said immediate steps need to be taken to help out the sector.

This was conveyed in a video conference meeting with senior officers of the Ministry of Tourism on Friday.

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) participated in the meeting.

They demanded that the RBI's three-month moratorium on loan repayments amid disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak be extended to 12 months and that the interest accrual should stop during that period. Advertisement

The tourism bodies also suggested that some loans for the industry (tourism) should be restructured.

"Secretary-Tourism updated us that across all the key ministries of the government, it has been widely acknowledged and accepted that Indian tourism industry will be one of the worst hit from this pandemic. He mentioned that this is of very high concern to the government and this acceptance, itself, within the government is a big move forward for us. We hope that our relief measures will be prioritised accordingly soon," Ashish Gupta of FAITH who attended the meeting said.

In a statement, the tourism ministry said that the industry put forth a number of ideas and suggestions for tiding over the crisis created by COVID-19 in the sector of tourism and hospitality.
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"The ministry on its part shared the concerns and also assured the associations that the government was very much with them in this grim hour and that it would work towards the suggestions put forth. A lot of thrust on promoting domestic tourism was a common takeaway," it said.

"The ministry is using its social media handles to create awareness on the need to stay at home and be safe in the period of lockdown, and prepare to travel once the world opens up," the statement said. It said that in the meantime, the course modules of the Institutes of Hotel Management under the ministry are being held online, and the faculty and students are using technology to remain abreast with their course curriculum. Advertisement

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