New Delhi: Industry chamber CII has urged the Centre to direct all state governments to allow operations of hotels with no restrictions.
In a letter to Union Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel, the Confederation of Indian Industry has also sought measures to provide liquidity support for the tourism and hospitality sectors.
"First and foremost, enable hotels (all categories) - accommodation, restaurants, banquet halls, bars, spas and gyms and their economic activities with no restrictions of timings. Request if the Ministry of Tourism could advise all state governments to allow hotels to operate as per MHA guidelines," it said.
It noted that as per current guidelines, large public gatherings and congregations continue to be prohibited. Marriage related gatherings are allowed but should not exceed 50 people.
The CII suggested banquets and convention centres be allowed to host meetings, conferences, seminars, social functions, among others, with no restrictions of numbers but linked to the size of a banquet hall, with 36 square feet per person as safe social distancing for such gatherings.
Among the measures of liquidity enhancement, it has sought a waiver of all fixed charges for the period of lockdown including for electricity, water, LPG, and property tax. A deferment for 12 months of all statutory dues, post the waiver period has also been sought.
Further, the industry body has also sought the extension period for licenses, to be renewed at the end of 2020, should be extended to the following year, 2021.
It noted that while onetime restructuring of loans has been announced and its contours will be unveiled in a while, as per the RBI, tourism industry-wise Deployment of Gross Bank Credit is Rs 45,000 crore as of January 2020 and when compared to other major industries, this is a very small number.
"Helping with long-term moratorium (beyond August), interest rate reduction and/or longer repayment schedules for these obligations can aid in assisting/salvaging the entire industry," said the letter signed by Puneet Chhatwal, Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Hospitality and Deep Kalra, Co-Chairman of the committee.