In an attempt to boost the tourism sector of the country that has been most badly affected by the COVID pandemic various schemes have been announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Once international travel resumes, first five lakh tourists who come to India will not have to pay visa fees. Scheme applicable till March 31, 2022, or will be closed after distribution of first 5 lakh visas. One tourist can avail benefit only once informed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the government unveiled eight economic relief measures for sectors affected by COVID pandemic and lockdown.
This scheme will be applicable till March 31, 2022, or the first five lakh tourists visas are issued, whichever is earlier. Each tourist can only avail of this scheme once, Sitharaman said. The total financial implication of this scheme will be Rs 100 crore.
FM said that around 10.93 million foreign tourists visited India in 2019, spent US $ 30.098 billion on leisure and business.
The average daily stay for a foreign tourist in India is 21 days. Average dally spending of a tourist in India is around $34 (Rs 2400).
FM also announced Finance Minister Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for COVID19 affected sectors.
Out of the total amount Rs 50,000 crores coverage has been set for health sector, aimed at upscaling medical infrastructure targeting underserved areas. While Rs 60,000 crores has been assigned for other sectors.
FM also said that financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides/travel and tourism stakeholders will be given. Working capital/personal loans will be provided with a 100% guarantee to people in tourism sector. No processing charges, waiver of prepayment charges will be taken from them.
Under new Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected Sectors, working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19. The scheme will cover:
10,700 Regional Level Tourist Guides recognised by Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Guides recognised by the State Governments
Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognized by Ministry of Tourism (904)
Loans will be provided with 100% guarantee, up to the following limits:
Rs. 10,00,000 for TTS ( per agency)
Rs. 1,00,000 for tourist guides licenced at Regional or State level
No processing charges, waiver of foreclosure/prepayment charges. No additional collateral requirement
Scheme to be administered by the Ministry of Tourism through NCGTC The AatmaNirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana which was launched on October 1 last year has been extended till March 31, 2022.
Rs. 23,220 Cr. has been assigned for public health, to focus on child & paediatric care. It will include HR augmentation to rope in medical students, nurses; strengthening of infra like ICU beds, ambulances, O2 supply, equipment, medicines.
Production Linked Incentive Scheme to incentivize large-scale electronics manufacturing has been extended by 1 year, till 2025-’26 Investments made in 2020-21 will continue to be covered Companies can opt to choose any five years for meeting production targets.
FM has also proposed to provide additional corpus to National Export Insurance Account over five years to allow it to underwrite additional Rs 33,000 crores of project exports.
New Credit Guarantee scheme to facilitate loans to 25 lakh persons through Micro Finance Institutions The interest rate on loans from banks to be capped at MCLR plus 2%. Focus on new lending not repayment of old loans.