Prabhu recommended that the travel and tourism (including health tourism), education and aviation sectors be exempted from the Rs 5-crore ceiling as they have been the worst hit by Covid.
Former commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu
Former commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu has written to the Finance Ministry, requesting that the government release benefits under the Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS) for FY20 as the sector reels under the impact of Covid-19.
The Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) had previously called on the Finance Ministry to urgently issue a notification of SEIS for 2019-20 citing significant job losses in the services sector due to Covid-19, while also recommending a ceiling of Rs 5 crore as a maximum benefit to one firm to ensure that small businesses are also able to avail benefits under the scheme. Service export firms are entitled to 5-7 per cent of net foreign exchange earned as tax benefits under the scheme.
Prabhu recommended that the travel and tourism (including health tourism), education and aviation sectors be exempted from the Rs 5-crore ceiling as they have been the worst hit by Covid. “Now, with the second wave of the pandemic, the survival in itself of the services sector industries has become a challenge,” he said, adding that concerned authorities should look into the recommendations by SPEC.
SPEC had recently said the travel and tourism sector saw a 73 per cent decline in employment, with grim prospects of a recovery in the near future.