WICCI's national hospitality and tourism council shares budget recommendations with Fin Min

To provide stimulus and growth of women in hospitality, the Women's Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shares recommendations to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister.

The Women's Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Hospitality and Tourism Council, in line with the WICCI Hospitality and Tourism Charter of representation for incentives, concessions, policies, legislature, and structural changes to government Ministries, recently shared their recommendations with Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister, Government of India. 

Commenting on the creation of equal opportunities with the coming budget, Kanika Hasrat, President, WICCI Hospitality Council said, "It is the vision as also the endeavour of WICCI Hospitality & Tourism Council to collaboratively work with various stakeholders such as consumers, workforce, policymakers and government bodies. To create an environment of equal opportunities, equal monetary benefits, equal rights and responsibilities, equal accolades, equal ownership, and most importantly, equal smiles! We are grateful to the invite from the Hon'ble Finance Minister to solicit opinion from the industry to declare a budget like never before, in the last 100 years." 

The council has requested a mandate of 25 per cent of women in the workforce in the Ministry of Tourism and in the Tourism Board, the council intends to build a sense of empathy and encourage more women in the industry. 

The council also asked for Incentives for Hospitality projects with special incentives for development where major stakeholders are women. 

They requested for single-window clearance, friendly capital and interest subsidy scheme for fresh investment. Other than that, provision of subsidy on land for long term lease 60 to 90 years in special SEZ Zones was also recommended. Stamp duty relief for women hotel owners or companies having more than 51 per cent shareholding by women and an increased moratorium on current loans till the end of FY 21-22 was also requested.

Further Reforms sought by the council in Tax and Regulatory environment are targeted specifically at women start-ups. These include concession in Corporate Tax for Hotel/Business owning SPV's having more than 25 per cent salary bill going to women employees. Another recommendation includes a hotel owning company with more than a mandated number of women directors on board to qualify for the corporate tax rebate. Furthermore, the council asked to spend one third of the 3 per cent CSR budget for hotel companies on initiatives focused on women empowerment. 

Provision of differential Corporate Tax rebate as per extent of women in a company, enforcement of 40 per cent women in all Hospitality and Tourism organisations and incentivise with 3 per cent GST saving for organisations that meet the 50 per cent threshold criterion of women in the workforce was also asked for. Another recommendation is to reduce GST for procurement from women entrepreneurs and vendors supporting AatmaNirbhar Bharat. 

Besides, in order to build the workforce, the council has requested the centre to allocate funds- incentive schemes for mobilization of young girls to enrol for Government programs such as Apprenticeship program, Hunar se Rozgar Tak. 

Furthermore, the recommendation has been made to envision 100% pay parity in the Travel and Tourism Industry by 2025. Also, to commission a study to evaluate the effect of post-natal job losses and encourage organisations to offer a second chance to women returning from maternity leaves. 

To address women travellers' safety, recommendations have been made to allocate at least 10 per cent of the total Tourism budget towards women travellers' safety to enhance sentiment for travel for single lady travellers. The council has requested to mandate 25 per cent of security personnel in any organisation to be women employees. 

Another recommendation has been made to amend shop and establishment law to allow for flexible working hours. The council suggests that the dynamic wage structure must adhere to the social security and labour act 2020. The new rules of Gig workers' engagement will enable Hospitality and Tourism to generate ample women employment opportunities and provide the flexibility of managing the home.



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