Industry seeks redemption in relief measures, not just announcements, CFO News, ETCFO

It’s that time of year again when stakeholders share their speculations, demands, expectations and recommendations on what they look forward to from the government in terms of favorable announcements for the travel and tourism sector. tourism. Yes, it is budget season again and as we get closer to February 1 when Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union budget for 2022-23, we are trying to gauge the mood of industry on what it thinks of the government. should work towards.

In order to get the opinion of industry stakeholders, ETTravelWorld reached out to representatives from different sectors to find out their expectations and recommendations for the upcoming budget. Read on to find out what they have to say:
Union budget 2022-2023: Industry seeks redemption in relief measures, not just announcements
Export status to inbound travel companies and deeper marketing investment
Madhavan Menon, managing director of Thomas Cook India, believes the Union budget presents an important opportunity for the government to create momentum towards recovery. “The past two years have demonstrated the power of the internal market and to unlock the full potential of domestic tourism, we look forward to a budgetary focus on infrastructure development, technology and airport/aviation health security. , road, rail and waterways India’s waterways offer significant and under-exploited potential which includes opportunities for sea and river cruising and cascading employment benefits in catchment areas. Empowerment of our global embassies, export (duty-free) status for the inbound travel sector and deeper marketing investments are essential to rekindle inbound demand and ensure competitive viability against our neighbors in the region. eagerly awaiting the government’s announcement of the granting of industry status, the streamlining of taxes (including co including full GST tax exemption, TCS tax exemption on overseas holiday packages and reduction of indirect taxes), removal of the SEIS benefit cap of INR 5 crore and introduction of subsidized loans at favorable conditions as a stimulus to allow the sector to get back on its feet. It will also harness its force multiplier effect on contribution to GDP, job creation and skills development – ​​much needed as the country moves towards recovery, recovery and growth,” he said.

Try original ideas or experiment with initiatives
Sharing an update on the current scenario and budget expectations, Dr. Rumki Majumdar, Economist, Deloitte India said GDP will grow at historically high rates for two years or more, however, the recovery is likely to be uneven, with spaces as a service sector facing structural challenges. “Uncertainty will weigh on the rebound in the service industry – The hospitality, leisure, travel and entertainment sectors, due to intermittent regionalized lockdowns calibrated. “Support for the travel and hospitality sector should be considered as it contributes significantly to the GDP. The government should try some original ideas or experiment with initiatives followed in other parts of the world. tourism “sandboxes” (followed by Thailand and Indonesia) and inviting fully vaccinated foreign tourists to roam a limited area Improvised service offerings could boost the hospitality sector Government to consider short-term stimulus plans term as well as long-term plans to deal with the structural changes these industries are going through and have contingency plans to deal with the uncertainties,” she said.

In its pre-budget memorandum, the Hotel Association of India (HAI) said policy interventions are imperative for the survival of the sector and its quick and speedy return to normalcy.

Extra cash and interest-free loans
Nishant Pitti, CEO and co-founder of EaseMyTrip, said the sector must be a key priority in the budget given the importance of its contribution to the economy and employment. “Much more needs to be done to provide support such as additional cash, interest-free loans, grants and tax breaks to industry stakeholders to ensure a faster recovery. We may also consider reviving travel sentiment by offering travel stimulus packages and tax incentives for personal and corporate travel. There is huge pent-up demand for travel and a reduction in personal income tax rates will put more money in the hands of an individual, which can accelerate the growth of travel. The budget can also include incentives for states to spend more of their budget on improving infrastructure and connectivity that can help tourism, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. he industry is facing huge losses since the pandemic, a tax holiday for the next few years could be explored for a strong recovery of the sector,” he said. Reduce the GST from 18% to 5%
Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint MD, BLS International said that to ensure rapid recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a few measures that can be taken into consideration for the revival of the travel and tourism industry, include reducing the GST for travel expenses from 18 percent to 5%, easy process to offset GST refunds; tax exemptions for at least two years to revive the industry; a higher LTA provision to incentivize employees to cover more travel expenses; additional investment allowance for the travel industry; and the GST In-State Input Tax Credit Adjustment should be available for two to three years. Also, a travel incentive program can be introduced to stimulate the whole travel industry.

Loan facilities for MSMEs and subsidies
Colonel Manbeer Choudhary, chairman and chief executive of Jewels Group of Hotels, said the industry was looking forward to relief and support for recovery. “It is not only large-scale reforms and special packages that the industry expects from the budget, but there is also an urgent need to heed timely restrictions imposed whenever the face of the pandemic changes. Reviewing the structure of the GST to reduce complexity would be a welcome initiative. The varied GST for different goods and services is confusing. Reducing the GST on services that currently fall under high levels would make services more affordable and help achieve better business volumes. In addition, easier loan facilities for MSMEs and grants would help domestic businesses recover. India has many rewarding travel experiences to offer. Promoting these amazing domestic travel experiences and destinations would help increase traction and inject new life into the domestic travel business. This will help the Indian hospitality industry recoup its losses and get back on the path to growth,” he said.

Immediate financial assistance until full recovery of the claim
Poonam Verma, Partner, J Sagar Associates (JSA) shared that the budget should target the current financial needs of the sector that were overlooked last year. “Measures such as reduced taxes on aviation jet fuel (ATF), immediate financial assistance until demand fully recovers, and financial incentives for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) should be the highlights ATF should be subject to GST (tax rate capped at 18%) to reduce airline costs Second, exempt/reduce IGST on parts (including aircraft components) imported for aircraft MRO to boost MRO business Encourage foreign investment in MRO by removing royalty and lease framework making it cost competitive Continue to focus on increasing passenger traffic and harness the potential of airports by improving regional connectivity through the Regional Connectivity Program – UDAN,” she said.

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