HAI unveils the West Bengal chapter
Requesting industry status for the hospitality sector, the Hotel Association of India (HAI) recently submitted a memorandum to West Bengal Chief Minister.
The Hotel Association of India (HAI), recently unveiled its West Bengal chapter. HAI submitted a memorandum of industry demands to Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal and Dr. Amit Mitra, Finance Minister, West Bengal, requesting industry status for the hospitality sector. HAI believes that granting the industry status fill help in reducing costs and encourage re-investment simultaneously ensuring greater transparency in the sector.
MP Bezbaruah, Secretary General, Hotel Association of India, said, “The Association believes that granting industry status to the sector will enable hotels across the state to avail benefits towards electricity and water tariff at an industrial rate, lower property tax, rationalisation of taxes & license fees, simplified approval process for hotel projects & hotel operations and other benefits accorded to industries – thus helping in ushering transparency, reduce costs, and encourage reinvestment. Such small steps are crucial for revival of the sector after the disastrous impact of the Pandemic and essential considering the extent of employment and income the sector generates.”
The launch of the West Bengal state chapter is followed by the launch of state chapters in Karnataka, Punjab and Telangana in December last year. The Association has nominated senior industry professionals including Vijay Shrikent, General Manager, Taj Bengal, Sumit Joshi, General Manager, The Oberoi Grand and Pramode Bhandari, Area General Manager, The Park from Kolkata to the West Bengal Chapter to represent the hospitality industry in the state.
K.B. Kachru, Vice President, Hotel Association of India & Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group said, “The State of West Bengal is a melting pot of Cultures and its capital Kolkata is often termed as the cultural capital of India. To the tourist, the state has much more to offer, from mountains to beaches, UNESCO sites, the tea gardens of Darjeeling, the Bengal tiger and the famous mangrove Sundarbans. The beauty and heritage of Bengal is impeccable and hence needs to be popularised throughout the globe. The ‘industry’ status will help in realising this dream as the growth of the hospitality industry will ensure a long lasting impact on the state’s employment, sustenance and flourishing of the cultural abundance.”
“We convey our deep gratitude to the Government of West Bengal for allowing hotels to re-open in the state. The Hospitality sector is a key pillar for both domestic and international tourism. Hotels offer economic growth for the government by creating jobs across all categories for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workforce. Unfortunately, the sector has been dealt with a severe blow due to the ongoing pandemic in the state and needs immediate policy intervention in order to tide over the disastrous impact of the global health crisis. With close to zero revenues and high fixed operating costs of power, license fees, property taxes etc, the industry has seen massive job losses and complete shutdown of hotel businesses. The removal of restrictions on the hospitality sector has helped in bringing hope for hotel players but the sector needs strong support from the state government to chart the path of overall recovery in the coming years,” said Pramode Bhandari, Member of West Bengal State Chapter & Area General Manager, The Park Kolkata.
According industry status will facilitate availing of benefits which the industries are entitled to and in turn this will help in strengthening the Indian hospitality sector, preserve and unlock its complete potential. This will enable the sector to contribute significantly to the State’s GDP, job creation and post pandemic economic revival of region.
HAI will bring relevant issues and challenges of the hospitality industry in the eyes of with the State Government as well as other important stakeholders within West Bengal. The aim of this move is to ensure greater collaboration and create an inclusive environment for the benefit of the local economy to protect and promote the interests of small, medium operators and the larger employee base of the hotel industry. The Association believes that the sector is burdened with high taxation and excessive licencing and regulation.
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