According to the Article published in ET, Those who missed one or two EMIs are getting phone calls and SMSs while those who have not paid EMIs for more than 90 days are being served notices asking for the entire payment in 60 days to avoid legal action. However, making timely payments is not possible for hotels, most of which have been out of business since March 2020. Almost all hotels in the state are completely closed.
“We are helpless. We cannot even cry at this moment. When we are struggling to meet our daily expenses, banks have started harassing hoteliers for EMIs,” state convener, Forum of Hotels and Restaurants Association (FOHRA) Budhi Parkash said. He added that banks were not restructuring the loan accounts as they had already availed of this facility. “Hoteliers had not imagined that pandemic would continue in 2021. Now that government and RBI know that the tourism and hospitality sector is suffering the most, they should have thought about us. If this continues, nearly 50% of the loan accounts of hotels in Himachal will be declared NPAs by the end of this year,” he said.
Defaulting hotels are being asked to repay their loans to avoid adverse impact on their loan credits and some are being warned that their account would become NPA. A large number of hotels received notices under Section 13(2) of the Central Government Act, saying that their loan is now a non-performing asset and the borrower needs to pay the entire principal balance along with other dues within 60 days. Hoteliers wonder how they will deposit the entire amount when they cannot even pay EMI.
Hotelier Jitender Thakur, who has also been served a bank notice, said, “The government should allow moratorium for at least two years and further extend it if the pandemic continues. The loan repayment period should also be increased. Apparently, we have not received any relief from the government after the second wave. The government asked to keep hotels open but tourists are not entering Himachal. Those who want to visit are not able to fulfill the multiple requirements. It will take years for the tourism sector to come back on track, only if banks do not take possession of hotels.”