Goa plans to provide 50% license fee rebate to beach shacks as COVID relief

Goa plans to provide 50% license fee rebate to beach shacks as COVID relief

Beach shacks in Goa are one of the marquee highlights of the Goa tourism industry

The Ports Minister on Friday announced the state government's decision to provide a 50% concession in the fees of beach shack operating license. This rebate has been offered as a relief with respect to the losses procured by the owners and licensees due to the pandemic. Besides this, he has also requested the Chief Minister to seek an EMI moratorium period extension from the Reserve Bank of India for the state's tourism business which has accounted monetary setbacks as a consequence of precautionary lockdowns.

License fee cutdown for seasonal shacks

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Seasonal shacks are one of the marquee highlights of Goa's tourism industry which is characterised by the establishment of around 350 units annually along Goa's 105-km coastline, which is dotted with popular beaches. These temporary shacks selling food and alcoholic beverages light up beaches during the tourist season in the state, after the spell of monsoon is bid adieu. They are usually disbanded every year by May 31.

However, owing to the whirlpool effect of the coronavirus pandemic, this industry witnessed spiralling losses this season . As per last year's reports, Goa which is regarded as the top beach tourism destination in the country attracted more than seven million tourists, the absence of which this year has been detrimental to the state economy. The State Government has thus lent its support to this sector by halving the operating fee, "The government will provide 50 per cent rebate (in licence fees) to all shack owners in Goa. The Chief Minister will make the announcement soon" announced the State Ports Minister.

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He also added that the "Tourism business is just beginning in Goa and the moratorium has come to an end. The extension in moratorium would help tourism operators to earn some revenue, which can then be used to service the pending EMIs." Besides this respite, the All Goa Beach Shack Owners Association has also made a representation to the state government seeking SOPs for the forthcoming season in tandem with the disturbing and diminished influx of tourist flow to the state because the Covid-19 pandemic.

Knock Knock

The Goan economy is primarily based on its tourist population and with that jeopardised this year, due to the transmission of the deadly COVID-19 infection, the losses have been stark and significant. This state decision is, therefore, a clear reflection of the reduced and frail economic strength of the region.

-With inputs from IANS

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