Subhash Goyal, President Confederation of Tourism Professionals of India reacted to the announcement made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister for Tourism with the statement, “This announcement is too late and too little. Already 10 million people have become jobless and thousands of companies have become bankrupt.”
Dr. Subhash Goyal made pertinent suggestions in the larger national interest to revive the economy. He said, “Tourism is not only the largest employment generator but has a multiplier effect on all other sectors of our economy.”
He pointed out, ” Without the announcement of the date for issuance of e-tourist visas and the date for starting of scheduled international flights, we cannot revive tourism and free visas will be meaningless. Moreover, all tourists who are spending airfare can easily pay for the visa fee. This will only benefit overland tourists from Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The money saved by not giving free tourist visas can be utilized for giving grants to Tourist Guides and Tourism workforce.”
On the subject of loans for tourist guides and small tour operators Subhash Goyal pointed out, “The giving of loans to Tourist Guides and Small Tour Operators is also meaningless because how will they return the loan and pay the interest when there is no business.”
Subhash Goyal added, ” If the government really wants to help, then there are only about 11000-12000 govt. recognized guides and govt. can easily give them a one-time grant under the same provision like they are giving to Farmers and Ration to the Below Poverty Line people. In the same provisions, grants can be given to Tourist Guides, small and medium Tour Operators, Tourist Bus/Taxi owners & Drivers, etc. This would help them to survive till the time our borders are opened and Tourists start coming to India.”
“If the government is serious, they have the balance sheet of all tour operators who have honestly been paying taxes for such a long time,” suggested Subhash Goyal, adding, “based on the before Covid-19 balance sheet, they can give an interest-free loan; repayments of which should start only one year after international borders are opened. Similarly, based on this the govt. can pay at least 50% of the staff/workers’ salaries of these companies.
He also pointed out, “Before talking about loans, the government should first pay the SEIS amount which is legally long overdue and then talk about interest-free loans.”
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