Haj, Umrah companies urge govt for help

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The Jammu and Kashmir Association of Haj and Umrah Companies (JKAHUC) has urged the government to rescue them as they have been going through a tough phase and they are struggling to meet the basic operation needs due to the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.

In a statement issued to a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), president JKAHUC said that the sector has suffered major losses and was badly hit due to the lockdown last year and this year too is no different for them.

“After noticing such bad conditions of our sector and its Stakeholders, JKAHUC is raising alarms and request authorities to help and rescue before it’s too late,” the statement reads.

The association has urged the government to consider emergency credit lines for operators in order to ease the burden of renewals, international registrations, maintenance, rents and electricity fee.

It also urged the government to consider emergency interest waivers and loan extensions in order to avoid bankruptcy and closures.

“In 2020 when entire global economy was hit, travel and tourism industry suffered the most. National and International Travel was bared and bookings were cancelled.”

The statement reads that the travel industry is a highly unsegmented market and many different pieces of services have to be arranged properly to make a complete pie.

“In these unprecedented and unusual circumstances, Hajj Umrah Organisers & Operators had the biggest blows where losses and debts of companies have seen an increase of 200% -300%.”

It reads that in the midst of their season and bookings, they faced unprecedented challenges where companies’ cash flow and capital got stuck between different organizations and sectors.

“Many companies faced losses and some smaller companies even perished in the first 5 months of lockdown. Kashmir accounts for nearly more than 200 Small and Medium Hajj Umrah companies. All of them struggling to meet basic operational needs today.”

It reads that it has been more than 650 days since companies had their last tours. “Companies are moving towards bankruptcy effecting directly 3000-4000 citizens of the State/ UT.”

JKAHUC has urged Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha and Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Bank for their urgent consideration. (KNO)

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