RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce President Saboor Malik has demanded a special bail-out package for travel industry and urged Civil Association Authority (CAA) to intervene immediately as airlines approach to travel agents and travel agencies for repayments.
Talking to former Chairman of the Travel Association of Pakistan (TAAP) on Skype, Rana Abdul Ghafoor Khan, President Chamber Saboor Malik said that the travel industry is facing a huge crisis due to corona virus.
In the given situation of Corona Virus and amid lock-down in the country, how come airlines pressurized travel agents to open offices and repayments, he questioned.
The airlines already have bank guarantees in millions and their demand for repayments in a situation where every office of Airline has been shut down and flight operations are closed. This does not make any sense. The demand for payment by airlines to open offices is illegal and unlawful, he remarked.
CAA should play an effective and positive role here must place a check on airlines. The government should announce the bailout package immediately, the package announced by the State Bank does not include travel agent.
Travel Industry must be given over draft facility like textile sector at 7% rate, he demanded.
He said flights operations have been closed, and pressurizing for repayments is totally unjustifiable. In the given situation, the offices could not be opened and no one could put lives of workers in risk, he added. He said that thousands of workers are associated with the travel industry and every year, the government is regularly paid with a huge amount in terms of tax.
Due to the closure of Umrah operation, the travel agencies and agents’ business has been at halt. Government must take an immediate action here. Due to advance payments, travel agents do not even have the cash to release money for the airlines, instead airlines should immediately release their refund, he further remarked.