Empowering for economy, but disappointing for tourism

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, has commented, “Overall, the 2021 Budget is empowering people for greater economic freedom, sound infrastructure, metro, railways, airports, and highways. However, we are very disappointed that as travel and tourism has not got anything specifically, despite being a strong GDP contributor, as well as having a huge value chain going across all levels, which is going to be affected. We might see many shops closing down and people going out of business.”

She added, “We expected much more than what was announced. However, we believe the Budget 2021 has focused more on spendings to enable economic growth through infrastructure roads and financial remedies. Travel, tourism and hospitality was completely neglected. As we await the fineprint, the direct taxes are not clear.

“Further Dis-investment in AirIndia is still on the rocks and is expected to be completed this year. Clarity on the same is eagerly is awaited by us, the main stakeholder partner hereto. For Rail packages over the years this shall be a advantage since the Plan is to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030. Passenger Logistics shall have advantage in the circuits and infrastructure.

“In Tourism we shall be able to attract for foreign tourist and give more opportunities to travellers. For passenger convenience and safety, the following measures are proposed—We will introduce the aesthetically designed Vista Dome LHB coach on tourist routes to give a better travel experience to passengers. The safety measures undertaken in the past few years have borne results. To further strengthen this effort, high density network and highly utilized network routes of Indian railways will be provided with an indigenously developed automatic train protection system that eliminates train collision due to human error. Further, TAAI had requested extension of LTC for a period of 2 years.”

She further proposed: “In order to provide relief to employees, it is proposed to provide tax exemption to the amount given to an employee in lieu of LTC subject to incurring of specified expenditure.”

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