In continuation with its effort to highlight the issues and concerns of the outbound industry to those in office of power, Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI, met the Minister to discuss the woes of the tourism sector. During a detailed meeting, he enumerated the relief the association is seeking from the government to help sail the travel fraternity through this tough time. OTOAI, since long, has been advocating a five-point agenda, comprising roll-back of the TCS, not make PAN card mandatory for foreign remittances for foreign nationals and non-resident Indians, grant relief from GST, allow outbound tour operators to take interest-free loans and expansion of working capital.
“The Tourism Minister listen patiently to all that we had to say and was extremely sympathetic and understanding regarding all the issues. He has assured us that roll-back of TCS, not making PAN card necessary for foreign remittances for foreign nationals and NRIs will be taken up with the government on priority. The honourable Minister is hopeful that all these discussions will have a positive outcome and that relief on these fronts will be announced soon. We are also keeping our fingers crossed for the same,” said Munshi.
Some additional points which were discussed during the meeting were the possibility of introducing licensing requirements for operating travel and tourism businesses and about capital inducement for MSME agents, which is currently only available for existing customers who are availing overdraft or loan facilities. The Minister assured that he will look into these points as well. Meanwhile, OTOAI, through various social media updates and press support, is working judiciously to highlight the concerns of the outbound tour operators at various forums. In the wake of an abundance of webinars taking place in the industry, the OTOAI President said there won’t be any associationspecific webinars for OTOAI members. “I do not think there is a need. Even if we plan, we would like to do it sometime in June or when the situation is normal and people are back to their business,” he said.