FHRAI-HRAWI request Maharashtra Govt against night curfew imposition on restaurants
The FHRAI and HRAWI have stated that the rental and salary expenses, servicing of debts taken earlier, negative cash flows and the statutory payment obligations have made hospitality the most unviable and unsustainable business under the present situation.
India’s apex Hospitality Association - Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) along with its regional Association representing Western 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 including excise license fees and property tax, among other along with relaxation of curfew timing for restaurants.
The Associations have stated that actual business for a restaurant starts after 8 pm and a night curfew imposition from 8 pm is tantamount to closure of business. Due to the prevailing restrictions and WFH arrangements, restaurants have no significant business in the day.
Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI, says, “The impact of COVID-19 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 per cent 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.”
He adds, “Tourism and Hospitality account for close to 10 per cent 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.”
The restaurants in Maharashtra were allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity with time restrictions only after October 2020. But resurgence of the pandemic at regular intervals led to more severe restrictions disrupting all its revival efforts. The FHRAI and HRAWI have stated that the rental and salary expenses, servicing of debts taken earlier, negative cash flows and the statutory payment obligations have made Hospitality the most unviable and unsustainable business under the present situation.
Pradeep Shetty, Jt. Hon. Secretary, FHRAI & Sr. Vice President, HRAWI, concludes, “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 8 pm to 7 am 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.”
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