‘Cash-for-LTC a big blow to tourism’

While the tourism sector has termed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s cash-for-LTC announcement a ‘major blow’ to the sector, the patron durables sector has welcomed it together with the competition advance scheme, calling these a lift to client sentiment and financial exercise. However, specialists warn that this ‘boost’ is prone to be momentary and the measures could also be insufficient to maintain demand.

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) mentioned the federal government’s transfer to redirect LTC funds to client items was a “vote of no-confidence” for the sector, which is among the many worst-hit by COVID-19. After eight months of just about zero tourism exercise, the trade was anticipating the festive season to provide the sector a lift. However, the federal government’s choice is prone to sap funds that would have gone into journey, FAITH mentioned.

“The government’s move is contrary to our suggestions where we demanded that LTAs be used to incentivise travel. But the government announcement will discourage travel as even those who have savings would like to encash their LTAs,” mentioned Jyoti Mayal of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). An trade supply nonetheless, mentioned there will likely be no materials impression on the trade because the LTA cash wouldn’t have come to the journey trade in any important method earlier than March 2020. FAITH added that since it is a four-year block scheme, it is going to additionally lower away funds for future journey demand for the subsequent yr.

On the opposite hand, Kamal Nandi, president, Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), and Business Head & EVP, Godrej Appliances mentioned, “The special festival advance schemes will provide more liquidity to the customers for discretionary spends. With the upcoming festive season, this will augur well for the consumer durables segment.”

‘Not sustainable’

Edelweiss Research mentioned in a observe that the general fiscal outgo owing to those measures quantities to ₹400-500 billion (Zero.2-Zero.three% of GDP). However, this isn’t a contemporary fiscal enlargement as the federal government is sticking to its current borrowing programme. “Therefore, while the measures could support sentiments and demand during the immediate festive season, they may be inadequate to boost aggregate demand sustainably… more [is] needed for sustained recovery,” it added.

Aditi Nayar, principal economist, ICRA, mentioned she anticipated the announcement to end in a brief increase to client sentiment and financial exercise, with sharper pick-up in festive season gross sales that may “subsequently fizzle out”.

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