The COVID 19 pandemic has caused significant and far reaching economic damage to the hospitality industry.
"Zero business during the first seven months of lockdown, negative cash flows, threats of insolvency and millions of jobs losses have devastated the sector completely," FHRAI said in a letter to the PM.
The recovery of the sector is going to be a long drawn out affair without full-fledged resumption of domestic travel in the country that is co-existent with the increased focus on health, hygiene and introduction of a preventive vaccine against the pandemic, the country's apex hospitality industry body added.
"The hospitality industry of the country is at the crossroads today and facing an existential crisis as the foreign exchange earnings are nil, and the domestic earnings are also not even 10 percent or our pre-COVID-19 revenues." the letter by FHRAI Vice-President Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said.
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The hospitality sector is unlikely to achieve even 25 percent of pre-COVID-19 revenues till such time we come back to normalcy, it added.
Asking for a sector-specific package, the letter requested the PM for, "complete interest waiver for the hospitality industry from March 2020 to September 2020".
It also requested that if the government decides not to provide a waiver of interest charges of hospitality establishments for the lockdown period, then the banks should be directed to charge the interest on loans at fixed deposit rates plus 2 percent.
The letter also requested the Prime Minister for a complete review of the Kamath Committee recommendations on a priority basis and also to undertake a hospitality-specific outlook or measures, considering the peculiarity of this industry.
It also asked for "No credit rating of loans by credit rating agencies working under SEBI guidelines until September 2021 or until complete normalcy resumes as it would be unfair to rate performances of businesses during a force majeure event".
The letter also requested that the working capital requirement of the hospitality sector needs to be supported by the government through a soft loan with a low rate of interest to reach the pre-COVID-19 levels.
"We would like to humbly submit that if a favorable policy is not drawn for the survival of the hospitality sector then at least 40 percent to 50 percent restaurants and 30 percent to 40 percent hotels in the country will have to shut down, resulting inmillions of job losses," the letter added. PTI AKT HRS
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