While the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) welcomes the notification for the release of Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) Scrips for the tour operators for the financial year 2019-20, at the same time it is disappointed that it has been reduced to 5 percent from 7 percent. “Last one and a half year has been one of the worst phases for the tour operators and in view of the debilitating hardship endured, it is urged that the government restores SEIS benefit to 7 percent as was paid a year before” Rajiv Mehra, President, IATO, said.
For the last 18 months, inbound tour operators had almost zilch income with several of them folding up their businesses. In view of that, the SEIS benefit was awaited for a long time as this would provide some financial succor that would help the tourism sector tide over this crisis. During the deliberations the govt was requested to raise it to 10 percent as one-time measure, however, the lowering of the benefit and capping it to Rs 5 crores is disappointing and the government is requested to at least raise it to 7 percent and remove capping of Rs. 5 crores at least for the tourism and hospitality industry. “ We are hopeful Government would favourably consider our plea,” adds Mehra.
It is to be noted that reduction in percentage to 5% will impact the small and medium tour operators while capping of Rs. 5 crores will badly impact the large tour operators.
Tourism has contributed significantly to the exchequer and has been a major employer as well. In a distressful situation like this, the tourism sector looks for assistance from the government for survival and revival.