Cabinet approves new relief for tourism industry

Friday, 12 June 2020 00:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Loans to pay salaries at concessionary interest rates
  • SLTDA to give one-off payments to drivers and tour guides
  • Leasing payments moratorium of 6 months to be extended to 12
  • Relief to pay power and water bill in 12 equal installments from Sept.

Cabinet yesterday approved relief measures for the tourism industry, paving the way to make available low interest loans to pay salaries, extensions on repayments of leasing facilities as well as easy payment schemes for power and water bills.

Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardana said a Cabinet paper presented by Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga had been green-lighted to provide extensive support to the industry.

“The relief measures including five-year loans with a two-year grace period at 4% interest to registered hotels to pay salaries to their employees, a one-off payment of Rs. 20,000 to registered guides, a one-off payment of Rs. 15,000 for tour drivers and payments of electricity and water bills for the March-August period to be made from 1 September in 12 equal payments were approved,” Gunawardena said.

Under the measures, hotels can obtain the concessionary interest loans to pay their employees Rs. 20,000 salaries. Restaurants, spas and others can obtain low interest loans to pay their employees Rs. 15,000 per month. The one-off payment for drivers and guides will be made by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

Leasing payment relief of six months already given to the tourism industry is to be increased to 12 months, with no delay fees to be charged, according to the Cabinet paper released by the Government Information Department.