Covid relief: Goa beach shacks may get 50% licence fee rebate


Panaji, Sep 18 (IANS): The Goa government is expected to offer 50 per cent relief in licence fees to beach shack operators in the state, in order to tide over the losses accrued due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ports Minister Michael Lobo said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant late on Friday, Lobo also said that he had requested Sawant to write to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and seek for an extension in the EMI moratorium period for tourism business in Goa, which have been setbacks on account of the pandemic.

"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," Lobo told reporters.

"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," Lobo added.

Shacks selling food and alcoholic beverages, synonymous with Goa's beaches, are set up every year after the waning of the monsoon season and have to be disbanded every year by May 31.

There are around 350 such shacks set up annually along Goa's 105-km coastline, which is dotted with popular beaches.

The All Goa Beach Shack Owners Association had also made a representation to the state government seeking SOPs for the forthcoming season, because the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the inflow of tourists into the state.

Last year, Goa which is regarded as a top beach tourism destination in the country attracted more than seven million tourists.

  

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