Budget 2021 Expectations: Post-Covid, travel, mobility sector becomes key for PM Narendra Modi’s GDP aspiration

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New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2021 4:51 PM

Budget 2021 Expectations: The covid-19 pandemic breakout impacted the travel and mobility industry at large in 2020.

Budget 2021 Expectations Travel MobilityBudget 2021 Expectations: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman must look into bolstering the travel and mobility sector through Budget 2021 allocations. (Reuters image)

Budget 2021 Expectations: The covid-19 pandemic has hit the travel and mobility sector as lockdown measures were enforced to check the infection rates across India. However, in 2021, the travel and mobility sector can witness a paradigm shift if the Narendra Modi government’s Budget 2021 provides the much-needed impetus, industry experts said. The growth in travel and mobility will help the domestic tourism sector expand and contribute more to India’s Gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman must look into bolstering the travel and mobility sector through Budget 2021 allocations.

“The covid-19 pandemic breakout impacted the travel and mobility industry at large in 2020. In order to provide the much-needed impetus to revive the travel and mobility economy in India, the industry is expecting long-term initiatives that will help infuse positivity and bring back growth to the economy. Today private intercity buses are already the single largest mode of intercity travel. As things stand the role played by the private intercity buses is going to increase further in the next 5 years. This growth in the inter-city travel segment is directly linked to GDP growth and catalyzed by budget allocation for investments in highway networks across the country to focus on enhancing infrastructure and last-mile connectivity. We hope that the government will prioritize the measures necessary to keep a check on pollution levels in Budget 2021 and therefore arise the need to promote economical and eco-friendly – Electric, CNG and H-CNG based fuels,” Manish Rathi, CEO, and co-founder, IntrCity RailYatri said.

“As digital adoption and transformation accelerates, increased allocation to smart mobility options will help to boost demand in the mobility and public transport industry and position India as one of the leading travel economies of the world. Further, keeping in mind the current environmental conditions, we are really hoping that the government takes measures to promote composite CNG cylinders which can induce long-distance travel on a single refill and reduce the wait time for a tank full further easing the operations. Measures that would augur well for the mobility industry in the upcoming Budget 2021 would be to create roadmap for One India One Permit for intercity buses. We are also expecting that the government will streamline tax exemption or leniency wherever possible to compensate for the tough business environment for 4-6 months due to COVID -19 and the resultant lockdown,” Manish Rathi said.

“Road connectivity plays a pivotal role here. Investments in the road infrastructure, especially for the remote towns and villages would be a prudent choice to promote local tourism while simultaneously ensuring risk-free travel. This would align well with the government’s vision to build Atmanirbhar Bharat creating jobs in smaller towns thereby supporting the local travel and hospitality sector. The total expenditure on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for 2019-20 was around Rs 90,000 crore, growing at a healthy trend over the last 5 years. We would anticipate this to continue and hope that the Budget 2021 allocation hit the Rs 100,000 crore mark,” said Gaurav Aggarwal, Founder, and CEO, SAVAARI Car Rentals.

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