Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman announced 8 economic relief measures to help tide over the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Among the various measures there are job benefits, extending the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana and loan guarantees for covid-affected sectors such as tourism.
The government has announced 5 lakh free visas for tourists once visa issuance is restarted. Benefit will be available only once per tourist. The scheme will be applicable till 31st March 2022, or till 5 lakh visas are issued, whichever is earlier.
Commenting to the announcement Mr Shivpriya Nanda , Partner, J Sagar Associates said “there is always more that can be done for the tourism industry but this definitely will provide the much needed support to the tourist guides and travel agencies who have been amongst the worst sufferers. In the near term domestic tourism could become an important contributor to the economy and travel agents and tourist guides are its backbone.
Mr Nanda further said that the tourist guides need to be helped back on their feet for the rehabilitation of this sector”
The announcement confirmed financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides/travel and tourism stakeholders. Working capital/personal loans will be provided with a 100% guarantee to people in tourism sector. No processing charges, waiver of prepayment charges would be required.