Sri Lanka tourism relief package finalized

ECONOMYNEXT- The Sri Lankan government has finalized the relief package to help tourism businesses and their employees to manage financial hardship after the Easter Sunday bombings on a case-by-case basis, a statement said.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said that it will provide a moratorium on loan payments till March 31, 2020 for registered tourism businesses and their employees.

A reduction in Value Added Tax to 5 percent will be in effect for the sector till May 21, 2020.

A low interest loan for working capital will be available under the Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme.

Duty free importing of security equipment has also been allowed.

Tourism businesses already registered can request for the relief package at a bank or a licensed non-bank finance company.

Unregistered businesses must apply for a three month provisional registration with the SLTDA, obtain a recommendation letter, and apply for financial assistance.

Approval of the package depends on the discretion of the banks and finance companies.

The tourism industry has been lobbying for all businesses and employees be given access to the relief package.

The Easter Sunday bombings killed 258, including 42 foreigners, while 500 persons were wounded.

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Occupancy at hotels have fallen to 10 percent. (Colombo/May31/2019)