NRAI seeks Interim Relief Support from Landlords
NRAI welcomes the interim relief measures announced by the Government and RBI and seeks similar support from the landlords to over 7 million people employed in the F&B Sector who stand severely impacted due to outbreak and spread of COVID-19.
NATIONAL RESTAURANT Association of India (NRAI) seeks urgent help and support from its long-standing business partners due to the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of global pandemic.
The voice of the restaurant industry, representing the interests of more than 5,00,000 restaurants pan India, puts forward the relief measures for ensuring that businesses don’t die an instant death, leaving behind a trail of unfulfilled dreams, millions of lost jobs and massive unwanted litigation.
Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI; CEO & Executive Director of deGustibus Hospitality Pvt. Ltd said, “NRAI is extremely thankful to the Govt of India & RBI for their recent measures aimed at mitigating some of our woes. Deferment of GST payments, concession extended on PF contribution and permission to employees to partially withdraw from their PF accounts, moratorium on EMIs and easing of interest rates are all steps in the right direction.”
“We further appeal to various State Governments to extend similar reliefs on state taxes like Excise and VAT. We once again fervently appeal to the Hon’ble Finance Minister and the GST Council to restore Input Tax Credit on GST; this will also help us significantly in bringing down our fixed operating costs,” he added.
The restaurant industry, with an annual turnover of approximately INR 4 Lakh Crore and providing direct employment to over 7 million Indians, is in a very precarious situation fighting a grim battle for its basic survival.
The business model of the industry is such that the proportion of fixed operating expenses is very high, which is a very high-risk model. Now, with the prospect of zero revenues staring for a substantial period of time, the industry’s fight is to retain its mere existence as commercial entities that provide jobs to millions.
Post the lockdown, it will take a substantial amount of time for the restaurant industry to become sustainable again. And to achieve these twin objectives, the industry needs to somehow bring down its fixed operating costs and ratio; with the biggest components of which involve rentals and manpower expenses.
Katriar said, “As very critical partners in our business, we further seek similar support from all the Landlords across the country. Some of the big mall owners such as Lulu Group, Lodha Group, Forum and Vegas have already announced immediate interim reliefs and we request other mall owners and independent landlords to do the same. We sincerely appeal to waive off the rentals and CAM for three months and work on a moderate revenue share model for six months post that till the business regains some lost foothold. This appeal is aimed at ensuring our mere survival during such extraordinarily troubled times; we aren’t trying to profiteer at the expense of the landlords. As long-standing business partners of ours, we are hopeful that the landlords will extend their support in these times of unprecedented crisis.”
He further expressed that the recent measures partially resolve their immediate concern of keeping the kitchen fires in the homes of our employees burning, which looked very difficult earlier with their negligible to limited cash reserves. “Moratorium on EMI will also help millions of employees in the sector, who all have availed some loan or the other and have an EMI to honour every month. These are very brave and laudable measures in the immediate term and we welcome them wholeheartedly. We will need a much bigger stimulus package from the Govt whenever we get back to the stage of rebooting our business!,” Katriar said in conclusion.
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