Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The trade bodies of hospitality sector had approached the Odisha state govt to open travel and
tourism centers immediately, allowing the tourism industry to restart its operations steadily.
The Hotel & Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) expressed their gratitude and happiness
towards Honorable Minister of State (IC), Sri Prahlad Singh Patel. Being one of the hardest hit sectors
by the Corona virus blow, many trade bodies in the hospitality sector have raised demands to be fulfilled
by the state govt. Hotel owners, tour & travel operators, and various trade bodies like FHRAI, FICCI, CII
and others, have also raised issues and demands from both Union and state Governments.

It is now that the Union Govt has asked for the Action Taken Report (ATR) regarding the same and has
also asked the State Govt to apprise the Ministry of Tourism. Following up, the Union Minister of
Tourism, Patel and Union Secretary of Tourism, Yogendra Tripathy have also the asked the State
Government about the list of reliefs being provided to the sector. To begin with, the hospitality sector
had requested relief from penal provisions for delay in dues. They had also requested that no penalty or
interest be levied on payment of any dues owned to the State Government or Public Sector
Undertakings and Urban Local Bodies. These Associations had also urged relief from regulatory
compliance under State and Central laws, being implemented by the State Government, including By
Laws, Municipal Laws, Rules and Regulations, by extending the validity of various licenses and approvals
without levy of any fees for a suitable period. Other demands also include – relief from Excise Fees for
Hotels and Restaurants for a suitable period of the financial year; Relaxations on electricity charges and
duties, as well as fixed cost of electricity tariff for hotels and hospitality establishments. The relief was
sought from property tax by reducing the current rates by half for hotels and hospitality sector, for a
suitable period of the financial year.

The Ministry of Tourism seeking for a report on the action taken in this regard till date, gives immense
hope to the HRAO and the entire tourism sector. They also appealed to both the Government Bodies –
Central and State, to think about the long term benefit that the tourism industry can contribute to the
country in terms of employment, both Indian and foreign exchange earnings, image building of the
country, and providing service to guests both Indian and foreigners. They emphasized on the wordings
of Swami Vivekananda, “Provide Service to mankind is service to God.”


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