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New Delhi, Nov 25: India’s apex Hospitality Association – Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has submitted a representation to the Hon’ble Finance Minister – Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman requesting her urgent intervention in notifying the Rs.60,000/- crore sanctioned under the Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID affected sectors. The announcement was formerly made by the FM in a Press Meet held on 28th June 2021. Close to five months since the announcement, the Hospitality industry continues to wait for the Government to notify it while the same scheme has been notified for both the health and tourism sectors. The FHRAI has expressed its disappointment with the Government’s apathy towards the Hospitality industry and has requested the Hon’ble FM to take urgent measures to notify the Rs.60,000 crore Loan Guarantee Scheme with 100 per cent Government guarantee and long-term repayment options to help the hospitality sector come out of the deep distress and support it in its survival efforts.

“The Ministry has neither released any Operational Guidelines nor any other details of the scheme so far. The Loan Guarantee Scheme introduced simultaneously for the Health Sector was notified immediately and necessary guidelines were introduced by NCGTC. More recently, the Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid Affected Tourism Service Sector (LGSCATSS) was notified for the travel industry as well. It is as if the hospitality sector is being deliberately neglected. The inaction and delay makes the industry wonder about the intent of the announcement made back in July 2021,” says Mr Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.

“The industry is continuing to suffer the repercussions of the lockdowns and the severe restrictions imposed on it for over eighteen months. This is the third occasion that we are reminding the Hon’ble FM for taking urgent measures to notify the Rs.60,000 crore Loan Guarantee Scheme which should be backed by 100 per cent Government guarantee and long-term repayment options,” he adds.

The Hospitality sector is one of the worst affected sectors by the pandemic. It faced the severest restrictions and lockdowns, protocols and suffered maximum losses over the two years between 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

“The unprecedented second wave has caused a strong ripple effect that has destroyed the entire hospitality eco-system in the country. It will take many years for the industry to recover from the damage. Throughout the crises, the industry stood with the Government in spite of the colossal losses that it suffered which led to closure of thousands of hotels and restaurants across the country. It will be really sad if the Government does not acknowledge and reciprocate in solidarity with the Hospitality industry. We request the Hon’ble FM’s kind consideration and promise to work inclusively with the Government as we have always done,” says Mr Kohli.

About Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI):

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) is the apex body of the Indian Hospitality industry. Founded in 1955, the FHRAI is the third-largest Hospitality association in the world and has diligently built on its rich legacy. The Association is today privileged to serve as the leading voice of the hotel and restaurant industry and plays a seminal role in supporting the growth trajectory of India’s hospitality and tourism sector. FHRAI provides a vibrant interface between the industry, government, regulatory bodies, academia, international organizations, civil society and the media.