Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced that the government will provide financial assistance to over 11,000 registered travel guides/ travel and tourism stakeholders (TTS) to revive the tourism industry.
Sitharaman said that under the new Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID affected sectors, People in the tourism sector will be provided working capital and personal loans to discharge liabilities and restart businesses that have been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Loan Guarantee Scheme will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides that are recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and tourist guides recognized by the State Governments. Financial assistance will also be provided to 904 Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism.
The Center will provide loans with a 100 per cent guarantee up to the following limits:
Rs. 10 lakh ( per agency) for Travel and Tourism Stakeholders
Rs. 1 lakh for licenced tourist guides at regional or state level
The Central Government has noted that the loan will be provided without any processing fee, waiver of foreclosure/prepayment charges. There will also be no additional collateral requirement.
The loan scheme will be administered by the Ministry of Tourism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC).
To revive tourism in the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that once international travel resumes, the first 5 lakh tourists visiting India will not have to pay the visa fee. The Finance Minister also said, “The scheme is applicable till March 31, 2022, or will be discontinued after disbursement of first 5 lakh visas. A tourist can avail the benefit only once.”