Apex Hotels and Restaurants Body Appeals to Maha Govt to Ease Night Curfew

Industry Watch | April 2, 2021 | News

Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) Uddhav Thackeray

The imposition of night curfew in Maharashtra and resurgence of the pandemic at regular intervals have led to severe restrictions disrupting all its revival efforts of the hospitality sector.

To recover from the ongoing loss, India’s apex hospitality association Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and its regional wing representing west India Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), have requested the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, for urgent facilitative measures for the hospitality sector in the form of waiver of statutory payments like excise license fees and property tax, along with relaxation of curfew timing for restaurants.

In their appeal, the associations have stated that actual business for a restaurant starts after 8pm and a night curfew imposition from 8 pm will lead to further closure of businesses. Due to the prevailing restrictions and WFH arrangements, restaurants have no significant business in the day, they have reasoned.

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI, said, “The impact of Covid19 is all pervasive in our economy but its impact on the hospitality industry has been extremely disruptive. The industry had lost all its business after the lockdown came into effect. As of today, 30 percent of hotels and restaurants in the country have shut down permanently due to financial losses. Over 20 per cent of hotels and restaurants haven’t opened fully after the lockdown and the remaining 50 per cent continue to run in losses, and revenues are below 50 per cent of the pre-Covid levels.”

“Tourism and Hospitality account for close to 10 percent of India’s GDP and support around 90 million jobs. Under the present conditions, non-viability will lead to the closure of hotel and restaurant business in the state and massive job losses. We request the Hon’ble CM to kindly take into account these repercussions to the industry and relax the curfew timings for restaurants,” Kohli added.

“In today’s volatile economic environment, the hospitality sector has been left alone to fend for itself and no sector-specific relief has been provided to the hospitality industry. The new order from the Government of Maharashtra imposing night curfew from 8pm to 7am has brought the restaurant sector to its knees. It will really make the sector’s revival an impossible task. We therefore request the Government of Maharashtra to come out with some urgent facilitative measures for the hospitality sector in the form of waiver of statutory payments including excise license fees and property tax along with the relaxation in curfew timing for restaurants to save the sector from crumbling down,” said Pradeep Shetty, Joint Honorary Secretary, FHRAI and SVP, HRAWI.

The FHRAI and HRAWI have also mentioned that all other businesses and sectors are entitled to get long business hours even under restricted timelines but restaurants are being singled out due to its specific nature of business and demand.

 

Seeking waiver of statutory payments like excise license fees and property tax, they say 30 percent of hotels and restaurants in India have shut down permanently because of the pandemic.

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