People associated with the tourism industry have praised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s loan program for travel agencies and tour guides, which has the potential to revive the industry.
Rajesh Gupta, president of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Federation, told ANI: âWe welcome the Centre’s post COVID lockdown programs to boost the tourism industry. The Centre’s humanitarian decision will provide financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourists, guides, travel and tourism stakeholders. It is enough to ensure that the benefits provided by this device reach the local level.
âPrograms in the tourism sector will also encourage foreign tourists. According to the Center, once visa issuance is restarted, the first 5 lakh foreign tourist visas will be issued free of charge. This is a great gesture of goodwill. hope to see more foreign tourists in the near future. We hope the beneficiaries will enjoy the benefits, “Gupta said.
Deepanka Sengupta, economist by profession in Srinagar, said: âDuring the lockdown of COVID-19, the tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir has been hit hard. Here I think the tourism sector is the biggest sector “employment.” As a result, many people face job losses. But with these packages from the Center, it will be easier for tour guides to take out loans. This will also increase the liquidity of the market. these announcements from the Ministry of Finance, the tourism sector will receive much-needed relief. “
Yesterday, the Minister of Finance and Union Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced a series of measures aimed at relieving various sectors affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under a new program, an additional credit of Rs 1.1 lakh crore will be paid to businesses. This includes Rs 50,000 crore for the health sector and Rs 60,000 crore for other sectors including tourism.
Another new program aims to help people working in the tourism sector. As part of the new loan guarantee program for sectors affected by COVID-19, working capital / personal loans will be provided to people in the tourism sector to pay off debts and restart businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and tourist guides recognized by state governments and around 1,000 travel and tourism actors (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism.
TTS will be eligible for a loan of up to Rs 10 lakh each, while tour guides will be eligible for a loan of up to Rs 1 lakh each. There will be no handling charges, waiver of foreclosure / prepayment charges and no additional warranty requirements. The Department of Tourism will administer the program through the NCGTC.
A free one-month tourist visa will be granted to tourists of 5 lakh. This is another program aimed at boosting the tourism sector. It provides that once visa issuance is restarted, the first 5 lakh tourist visas will be issued free of charge. However, the benefit will only be available once per tourist. The facility will be applicable until March 31, 2022 or until 5 lakh visas are issued, whichever comes first. The total financial implications of the program for the government will be Rs 100 crore.
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