Tribune News Service
Bathinda, August 1
A majority of travel agencies, mainly those dealing with car rentals, are bearing the brunt of the Covid-induced lockdown. The owners are selling their vehicles as they are unable to pay EMIs.
Facing a threat to their livelihood, many car rental owners have shifted to alternative works to earn bread and butter for their families.
Satish Kumar, who runs a car rental business in Bathinda, said there were only a few bookings in the past two months as people were not moving out due to Covid. Moreover, there was no corporate movement as most officials were working from home.
“Grand weddings are also not taking place. Earlier, around 10-12 vehicles used to go for a wedding, but now, not even one,” he added.
Anita Jaiswal, who runs a car rental business in Ferozepur, said the lockdown had hit her hard as she had purchased a new car for the business on loan, but now, she was unable to pay the EMIs and had to sell the car to clear the loan. Moreover, her son, who used to work as a driver, had now taken up a food delivery job in the city to earn some income in this crisis.
The car owners demanded a financial package as well other interventions like postponement of loan premiums of their vehicles and rebate in taxes to tide over the difficult time.
Apart from this, even drivers working with these car rental companies are facing trouble in managing the household expenditure.
The auto and taxi drivers, who earn their livelihood on a daily basis, have been hit hard due to the lockdown. A large number of drivers and their families are in a precarious situation, but neither the Centre nor the state government has offered any help to them.
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