Assam govt hamstrung by fund crunch to help tourism sector: ATDC Chairman

GUWAHATI: It is the COVID-19-time fund crisis that has reduced Assam government to hitherto mute spectator to the crisis-ridden tourism and hospitality sector in the state.

Chairman of Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC), Jayanta Malla Baruah has stated that the state government is well aware of the tremendous hardship faced by all the stake holders in Tourism and Hospitality sector in the state because of the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.

He said financial health of the state government had been hit very hard because of the COVID-19 and government despite being aware of the tremendous problems faced by the sector, had not been able to come up with any relief package for the sector.

“Still the government is ready to explore ways to help the industry survive the bad times till the revival mode is set off post COVID-19,” the ATDC chairman said while participating in a webinar with key entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. The webinar was hosted by entrepreneur Shyam Kanu Mahanta.

With the tourism and hospitality sector in Assam being plunged into a terrible state by the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the entrepreneurs in the sector fast running out of wits and means to survive the unprecedented lean phase for future revival.

Obviously, the sector is looking up to the state government to support it in certain aspects like waiving of fixed electricity charges, extension of licenses at least for another year, engagement of tour operators’ vehicles in government services for the time being etc.

The situation has come to such a passe that some of the entrepreneurs in tourism sector are going to shut down their offices in the city because of their inability to pay rent.

The entrepreneurs spoke their heart out about the hard time they are faced with participating in the webinar which was participated among others by state’s Tourism Secretary and the Director of Tourism.

The ATDC Chairman as an immediate relief offered that the first floor of the ATDC headquarter in Guwahati city could be utilised by some entrepreneurs from the sector to set up their offices till the situation improves.

Some of the entrepreneurs requested the state government to allow them to work from home till the situation improves and they become able to revive their offices.

 

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