By: Jahangir Sofi
Srinagar: After the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 28th June announced the loan package for a section of stakeholders associated with the tourism industry, valley based tour operators welcoming the loan package demanded the package should be generalised for all tour operators and tourist guides.
Manzoor Ahmed Pakthoon a senior member of United Tourism Forum (UTF), an amalgam of valley based tour operators said that though it is a much needed decision taken by the government, “the question is how much the valley based tour operators and tourist guides are going to get the help of it, as the package has been kept for those who are recognized by Ministry of Tourism.”
“The package should be generalised for all so that every stakeholder gets benefit out of it. Our industry has been struggling and unless there isn’t any assistance the survival of our industry is very difficult,” he said.
He further said, “there was a meeting in this regard, and in the coming days, we will approach the top authorities in the administration so that the loan package is generalised for all tour operators and tourist guides.”
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 28th June had announced financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides/travel and tourism stakeholders, under new loan guarantee scheme for COVID affected sectors, under which working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19.
Under the loan guarantee scheme, the Finance Minister said, loans of Rs 10 lakh and Rs one lakh with a hundred percent guarantee will be provided to travel firms and guides respectively.
As per the scheme, there would also be no processing charges or requirement of additional collateral on these loans, and any foreclosure or prepayment charges would also be waived off. The scheme would be administered by the Ministry of Tourism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC). (KNO)