1 min read.Updated: 10 Sep 2021, 01:21 PM ISTLivemint
The hospitality and tourism industry has suffered huge setbacks because of the coronavirus pandemic
Even when the situation improved, Dharamshala saw tourist influx only for a brief period. The hill station was hit by a massive cloudburst and landslides in July
As many as 17 hotels in Himachal Pradesh's Dharamshala received to take over notices from a private bank due to non-payment of loans amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hospitality and tourism industry has suffered huge setbacks because of the coronavirus pandemic. People were cooped up inside their houses because of the prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns, resulting in a huge loss to the hospitality industry.
Even when the situation improved, Dharamshala saw tourist influx only for a brief period. The hill station was hit by a massive cloudburst and landslides in July this year.
President of Hotel Association in Dharamshala Ashwani Bamba said the sector was badly hit amid Covid-19 and several hoteliers couldn't repay their loans. Bamba urged the state government to provide some relief to the local hoteliers.
He said, “ There was no business during lockdown due to pandemic. There is a lack of support from the government. We again appeal to the state government to have a dialogue with the Centre and offer us some relief".
So far, only one bank has served takeover notices but Bamba is afraid that more banks might take similar actions in the coming days.
Another hotelier in Dharamshala Vivek Mahajan also asked for help from both central and state governments. He said, “The repeated lockdowns and restrictions imposed on the entry of tourists made things worse. Government should help us and stop the banks from taking extreme steps".
However, the Himachal Pradesh government stated that the state gave 50% relaxation on the interest of the loan amount to the industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
District tourism officer Prithi Paul Singh stated that "During the pandemic, Himachal government decided to give 50% relaxation on the interest of the loan amount. We received 25 applications for this relaxation out of which 7 cases have been approved and the rest are under process."
"As far as the bank's takeover notices are concerned we are collecting the information and sending it to the government for further necessary action," he added.
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