ASSOCHAM today appealed the Himachal Government to announce urgent relief measures for Tourism and Hospitality sector of the state, as it remained the worst affected segment during the two waves of Covid-19 and lockdowns.
In a representation submitted to the office of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sh Jai Ram Thakur, ASSOCHAM stated that the tourism sector of Himachal Pradesh contributes a major portion to the state GDP. A significant rise was noticed in the domestic as well as foreign tourist inflow during last few years but due to COVID19 there is sharp decrease of 81% in tourist arrival up to December 2020.
It is pertinent to mention here that many of the hotels, taxi operators, and other tourism related trades were literally on the verge of closure during the lockdown and a helping hand by the government can not only save their livelihood but will also revive the tourism sector of the state.
“ASSOCHAM urges state government for bringing urgent steps to assist and improve for local transporters so that they can continue paying insurance bills, driver salaries, token taxes, permits fees, deferring state collectables on utilities, re-work the minimum tariffs for 2021 to help reduce the burden of heavy fixed costs in the industries, deferment of license fee and state taxation will be of great relief if these collectables be collected next year in instalments as and when the businesses stabilizes, access to micro loans with collaterals, more inclusive industry & infrastructure status which has been a demand from the tourism and hospitality industry for many years now. We feel it is the right time for state government to reflect upon this, ” The representation reads.
Mr Jitender Sodhi, Chairman, ASSOCHAM Himachal Pradesh Development Council feels a responsibility of bringing into the notice of Government as Tourism is a crucial engine of Himachal Pradesh economic growth and important source of earning for thousands of people in hilly state, which has again come to a grinding halt as the pandemic nosedived in and contracted by over 81% stakeholders.