Hospitality sector disappointed with lack of announcements in Budget

February 02, 2022 01:14 am | Updated 01:14 am IST - CHENNAI

Like every other sector, the hospitality sector has had its fair share of downs over the past two years, and hopes that this year’s Budget would offer some much-needed assistance were dashed to the ground with almost nothing being made by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.

Vikram Cotah, CEO, GRT Hotels and Resorts, said despite contributing 6% of GDP and being the second largest employer in the service industry, the hospitality sector had not been given any relief in this budget. “Having been badly affected by lockdowns, we had expected industry status, relief in power tariff and a tax holiday and some sops for the travel sector. But no announcement was made giving any incentive. Countries like Canada and U.K. gave cash assistance to small restaurants that found it difficult to pay their staff. But here many small establishments just folded up due to lack of support,” he said.

Rachel Goenka, CEO & founder, The Chocolate Spoon Company, said: “The Budget presented by the Finance Minister was expected to bring about significant relief for the hospitality industry across avenues. The industry as a whole was eagerly waiting for reforms from the restoration of Input Tax Credit (ITC) on GST, relief on all statutory dues, unemployment assistance to extended operating hours for the industry. However, once again we were mentioned only briefly where an Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) of 5 crores along with 50,000 crore to be used to deal with the liquidity crisis was announced. It was very disappointing to see that no specific announcements were made for the Restaurant Industry and we are yet again left to fend for ourselves,” she said.

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