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The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), on Monday said that it has made suggestions to finance ministry, RBI and tourism ministry for urgently taking up measures targeted at protecting business and jobs in the sector.

The association has asked for a waiver or compensation for fixed statutory and compliance liabilities. Despite no revenues, there are statutory liabilities and compliance liabilities at both state and central government level and other regulatory bodies which still need to be met. These include various forms of duties, taxes, cess or license fees including electricity & water, property taxes, excise duties, transport taxes, parking cess, insurance premiums provident fund, Employee State Insurance (ESI) contribution on hotels, travel agents, tour operators, restaurants tourist transporters or any other form of tourism travel & hospitality services.

FAITH has requested the government to urgently urge all state governments and the respective ministries to waive off these fixed levies and compliances till the period of the pandemic. The association has suggested to set up a corpus with ministry of tourism to meet these monthly liabilities of tourism travel & hospitality companies to discharge them on their behalf.

The industry body has requested that an amount equivalent to the pre-pandemic basic salaries be sent each month to such tourism, travel & hospitality employees in a direct benefit transfer against their PAN Card. This will help support livelihoods of crores of people and their families till the duration of the pandemic.

The tourism body said that the SEIS Scrips for financial year 2019-20 should be announced at the earliest as this amount is already invested and spent for developing business for the year 2019/20. This benefit can help save many companies.

Globally Indian tourism has to compete aggressively with other countries for market share. These marketing and business development expenditure are made by tour operators & hoteliers.

“SEIS, as part of the Foreign Trade Policy, has been a way to compensate for such marketing expenditure. SEIS scrips dues against tourism foreign exchange earned for 2019-20 is still outstanding which is creating significant distress on their individual balance sheets," FAITH said in a statement.

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