The hospitality and tourism sector were expecting a relief package from the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. But even in her fifth and last tranche of relief and reform package, she failed to mention them.
This sector is worst hit due to the COVID-19 crisis and its subsequent lockdown. This sector will take the most time to revive due to the pandemic flare-up fear.
The industry body said with not even the slightest reassurance, let alone any stimulus or relief package from the government, the industry is looking at a major catastrophe including massive job loss, bankrupt enterprises and definite closure of at least 70 per cent of hospitality establishments across the country.
Hospitality industry’s apex association – Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has expressed deep disappointment and utter shock with the government’s attitude towards the sector.
“The entire industry is confused, hysterical and in disbelief after listening to the FM’s speech. There was no mention of hospitality and tourism at all, " the body said.
Adding to it, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI and President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), said, "The hospitality and tourism industry generates close to Rs 17 lakh crore contributing roughly 10 per cent of India's GDP and supports over 43 million jobs translating to almost 9 per cent of its total employment. Despite this knowledge, the government has chosen to completely ignore us, yet again."
“Since the lockdown came into effect, we have been keeping the government informed about the developments in the industry. We have been identifying and suggesting the possible ways that the government could intervene to help us get through this difficult phase. We have never shied away from going out of our way to support the government voluntarily and also whenever it called upon us, " said Pradeep Shetty, Vice President, HRAWI.