A mixed bag for hospitality: Garish Oberoi

Garish Oberoi, President, FHRAI, says the hospitality industry has been repeatedly asking for infrastructure status which hasn’t been mentioned this year as well. “Among the positives in the Budget is the Rs. 500 crore allocation for ‘Operation Green’ to promote Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management,” Oberoi adds. He notes that focus on technology is very relevant in this digital age. “The Budget allocated to the Railways to the tune of Rs. 148, 528 crore to build infrastructure, laying tracks, Wi-Fi and CCTVs will help improve them. In tourism 10 prominent tourist sites will be made into national tourist sites. New Greenfield Airports are in the offing and building airport capacities to handle 1 billion trips can give a boost to connectivity. Post demonetisation and GST many hotels have become Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). We still await measures by the government to deal with NPAs. In totality, the Budget is more for the ease of living and not so much the ease of doing business. While the focus on healthcare and education is commendable, the biggest challenges to growth and employment generation are low credit offtake and ease of doing business, neither have been supported by the Budget,” Oberoi says.