Port Blair, Aug 07: Bharatiya Janata Party led by its State President Mr. Ajoy Bairagi through Mr. M Vinod, State Vice President, BJP – A & N Islands on behalf of tourism stakeholders, has put forth a list of relief and revival measures that our industry is in dire need of:
- A fiscal relief package for Andaman tourism stakeholders that helps cover the remuneration of the employees for the next 6 months provides for basic financial support to prevent businesses from collapsing and helps keep them afloat until the travelling climate becomes favorable.
- A complete exemption on GST for tourism including hotels, restaurants, tour packages, adventure water sports, cruises, boats for the next 12 months.
- A moratorium for the next 12 months be granted to all term loans/ODs lent to tourism businesses and the interest be waived off as well for the next 12 months. Subsequent to this, the interest rates on all existing loans lent to such tourism businesses be slashed to half the levied rate to enable them to weather the crisis.
- Auto renewal of all statutory licenses/permits/registrations of all tourism establishments/vehicles/boats etc. till 30th April 2021.
- A complete waive off of all rents (from municipal, panchayats etc.), taxes (including property tax, road tax etc.), bills (such as electricity, water, telephone) and charges (such as port charges) be waived off for a period of 1 year for all tourism establishments.
- Auto renewal of license/certificates for all individuals employed by tourism establishments (such as boat operators, crew, instructors, diving instructors etc.) or self-employed (such as snorkeling guides etc.) as technical human resource until 30th April 2021.
- Extension of A&N Islands Infrastructure Subsidy Scheme for MSMEs 2017 for another two years till 31st March 2022. All pending applications of subsidy be processed on fast track mode and the rightful subsidy be granted to all such MSMEs.
- Relaxation of all possible statutory and regulatory compliance for all segments of the tourism industry for a period of 2 years to create an atmosphere of revival and enable businesses to restructure themselves.
- Interest and collateral free loans be given to tourism establishments to ensure sufficient working capital and liquidity to survive by government as well as private banks.
- LTC be granted to government servants for travelling to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- 100% tax rebate be granted to all citizens of our Country for travelling to Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Mr. M Vinod reiterated that, the above relief measures are to ensure survival as well as to create a favorable travelling atmosphere when the time is right. We had not even recovered completely from a devastating event such as 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that we have been hit by yet another crisis that has left the islanders completely helpless.