PHDCCI Chairman Baldev Singh Raina thanks LG for Tourism Sector relief package, calls it oxygen on death bed

Srinagar, May 15 (KNS) : Chairman PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Baldev Singh today extended gratitude to the Lieutenant Governor for the 'wonderful' Livelihood package of 2.92 Cr for Shikarawalas, Tourist Guides, Ponywalas, Dandiwalas, Sledgewalas and Palikwalas. 

According to a statement issued to Kashmir News Service (KNS) Baldev said, "PHD Chamber thanks to LG for accepting our demands with record speed. Lots of respect going out to our Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for his efforts to breathe life back into the struggling Tourism industry Daily Labour workers."

Baldev Singh said that one of the largest revenue generating industries in J&K, has suffered huge losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The state administration has announced a relief package to aid the struggling stakeholders. Lieutenant Governor identified role of tourism in supporting the State economy and its contribution to employment generation. "he said.

During these difficult days Tourism Sector is in precarious state of finances and is on the verge of bankruptcy and closure due to disruption brought by the lockdown, he added.

"The package is simply like oxygen given to these stakeholders on the death bed. It is not an easy thing to release financial package particularly when the UT is in financial stringency and facing many challenges." he said.

He further added that Lakhs of employees are working directly or indirectly with Tourism business houses and the owners of these businesses are paying salaries, rents and other overheads. So we strongly recommend and demand that all fixed charges of power and other charges/taxes needs to be waived to the tourism businesses otherwise many businesses will collapse and will be closed, he added.

Baldev Singh said the Tourism, Automobile and education sector are leading source of employment and job creation for J&K and is providing a high volume of jobs for low skilled workers, together with higher skilled jobs. These sectors employs many seasonal, proffesional, part-time and temporary workers. With the impact of the crisis expected continuing over May June-July-August and reduced capacity for many industry branches, many of these jobs will be directly affected. In normal circumstances, the sector can help provide diverse employment opportunities for educated, skilled men and women, students and older workers, not only in major cities but also in remote, rural areas of J&K, as well as other often economically fragile locations where alternative opportunities are very limited.

Baldev Singh further added that therefore the government will need to take balanced, measured and co-ordinated policy action , in order to protect people, while minimising job losses and business closures therefore we advocate for General Economic Stimulus and Support measures for Tourism, Automobile and Education sectors of all sizes. (KNS)

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