FM announces financial support to over 11,000 registered tourist guides, stakeholders to revive tourism sector

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced financial support to over 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel agents and tourism stakeholders under the new loan guarantee scheme.

“The personal loans or working capital will be provided to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19 pandemic,” the Finance Minister said while addressing a press conference.

Under the new loan guarantee scheme, Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) — recognised by the Ministry of Tourism — will be able to get INR 10,00,000 loans per agency with 100 per cent guarantee. Also, a provision to provide loan of INR 1,00,000 for tourist guides licensed at regional or state level has been made.

The Finance Ministry assured that there will be no requirement for any processing charges, waiver of foreclosure or prepayment charges, or additional collateral for these personal loans.

Sitharaman mentioned in her address that this new loan scheme will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides who are recognised by the MoT and tourist guides recognised by the state governments. The scheme will be administered by MoT through NCGTC.

 

INDUSTRY REACTION

 

Madhavan Menon, MD, Thomas Cook India Group

“We welcome the announcement today by the honourable Finance Minister, Smt Sitharaman – this is a much needed step towards the revival of tourism – a sector that is a significant contributor to the GDP, foreign exchange receipts and employment generation – with a cascading force multiplier effect on allied sectors. The 3 pronged approach for the sector covers 100% guarantee for loans upto INR10 lakhs per government recognised Travel & Tourism stakeholder (TTS), upto INR 1 Lakh financial support to over 11,000 licensed guides at a state/regional level, and 5 lakh gratis visas that will serve to catalyse much needed inbound inflows. The stimulus announcements are a reflection of the government’s focus on the travel and tourism sector and augurs well for the industry, while simultaneously building consumer confidence in travel.”

MP Bezbaruah, Secretary-General, Hotel Association of India
“FM’s announcement on free visas has a very strong symbolic message that we have the confidence to welcome visitors and that tourism and hospitality is a strong pillar of post-Covid economic recovery strategy. We sincerely hope that such measures will be logically followed by measures to make the industry recover and be ready to welcome tourists. Measures like liquidity support and exemption from statutory taxes. HAI would like to compliment the FM on this initiative and look forward to some more pragmatic initiatives to create jobs and livelihoods through a rejuvenated Tourism and Hospitality industry. As always HAI will be there for a committed role to be played by the Tourism and Hospitality industry in the national economic development programme.”

 

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