As the country awaits the upcoming Union Budget, that is to be presented on 1st February 2021, Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. in his message to the government says, “The travel and tourism industry has been one of the most severely impacted in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and we are staring at a long road to recovery. While the Government has rolled out economic relief packages for several industries, the Tourism sector has been noticeably absent and the Union Budget offers valuable opportunity to address the crisis in the sector.
“Given its critical contribution to India’s economy and its powerful multiplier impact on employment generation – an imperative at a time like this – the tourism industry deserves top priority in the Union Budget 2021.
“With the extended ban on international commercial flights, domestic tourism offers strong potential and this requires priority support or swathes of tourism-dependent communities will languish and with it rapid dwindling of our precious local art forms, heritage and culture. Innovative and viable initiatives like UDAN that catalyse regional connectivity and offer access to India’s hidden gems need to see sustained delivery. Budgetary outlay that retains long term impact via infrastructure development is equally essential– roads, railways, airports, waterways; as also health, safety and sanitation – a top priority in travel decisions in this COVID era.”
He further adds “I also look forward to the Government support and priority action: soft loans to finance working capital, incentivising tourism spends by providing income tax concessions, payment of overdue SEIS benefits, easing of indirect taxes and waiving off TCS to help aid recovery”