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Budget 2021: From infra status to tax deductions, tourism sector's expectations from FM

Updated : January 07, 2021 08:27 PM IST

The COVID lockdown, the ban on flights and the people's reluctance to travel left the tourism and hospitality sector battered and bruised. As businesses slowly starts to recover, the industry has pegged a revenue loss of Rs 90,000 crore for 2020. The sector is now pinning hopes on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the upcoming budget to get back on a high-growth path.

Industry bodies CII and FICCI in their pre-budget consultations have urged the government to include the tourism sector in the concurrent list to enable better regulation and policy decisions. They have asked that the hotel sector be granted infrastructure status, which would allow them to avail electricity, water and land at industrial rates as well as better infrastructure lending rates.

Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO of Indian Hotels and Chairman of the CII National Committee on Tourism and Hospitality said that the international inbound demand is zero. However, there is strong demand from the domestic market.

Appreciating the support from state governments, Chhatwal said that tourism as a sector is important for the globe and it is also important to develop India's identity as a tourist destination.

Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson and MD at The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group and Chairperson of FICCI's Tourism Committee said that the hospitality sector is working on very heavy discounts and it would take 2-3 years for the sector to get positive on EBITDA levels.

She added that parameters of RBI'S restructuring scheme are extremely difficult to meet and there is a need to review the restructuring structure. She added that a restructuring window for a minimum of four years was required.

Deep Kalra, Founder and Group Executive Chairman of MakeMyTrip and Co-Chairman of the CII National Committee on Tourism and Hospitality said that smaller entities in the hospitality sector will not be able to survive. He expects 25 percent job loss in the sector by the end of the year.

Kalra said that I-T deductions on domestic travel could encourage travel and that the government should consider some direct benefit on taxation the side for the travel sector.

To know more, watch the video.
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