Subvention scheme not helpful for small hoteliers of Himachal

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 1

The interest subvention scheme, offered by the state government to help hoteliers recover from Covid, is not helping small and medium hoteliers.

With a rise in Covid cases, an RT-PCR negative report of not more than 72 hours or a RAT negative report of 24 hours and registration on e- covid portal have been made mandatory for tourists, who have not received the second dose of vaccination.

The average hotel occupancy, which used to be between 50-60 per cent in the last week of August, had dropped to 5-10 per cent, said president of the Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association Sanjay Sood.

They were demanding domestic tariff on electricity, property tax, garbage and other charges in place of commercial one as there was no commercial activity because the tourist inflow was negligible, he said, adding that the time gap between first and second dose of vaccination should be reduced.

Only a few big hotels had benefited by the scheme while the small units were still awaiting the working capital loan, said president, Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association, MK Seth, adding that the lack of clarity in banks over the schemes was also acting as a hurdle.

Under the scheme, tourism units paying GST up to Rs1 crore and Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore could get loans to the tune of Rs 50 lakh and Rs 75 lakh while the small registered tourism units would also be eligible for a maximum loan of Rs 15 lakh.

Representatives of the tourism industry were also demanding financial assistance from the government to survive as it was difficult to meet the daily expenditures. They said taking loans would only add to financial liabilities and stress.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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