Covid-19 has affected each one of us in some way or the other. The pandemic has threatened our lives and livelihood. However, gradually things are returning to normal and many industries have resumed operations. While almost all other industries have found their way back to work, whether through work from home or recommencing manufacturing, distribution, and office; hotels and restaurants continue to bear the brunt of the lockdown.
Tourism and hospitality are the only industries in the state that have suffered the maximum losses. It will take a minimum of 3 to 5 years for the industry to claw its way back to recovery. This is going to be a herculean task and it is not going to be possible without the government’s support.
Maharashtra has around 10,500 hotels and 210,000 restaurants. 30 per cent hotels and close to 50 per cent restaurants have shut down. Approximately 3,000 hotels and 1 lakh restaurants shut down over the last fifteen months alone. Business for the first quarter of the financial year 2021-22 was completely washed out due to the ongoing restrictions. Restaurants have operational expenses, salaries, and other overheads. Debt is mounting and there is no relief on the statutory fees and taxes from the government.
Under these circumstances, the industry deserves to receive relief in terms of license fees and other statutory obligations for the losses it has borne since the beginning of the pandemic. There are around 50 lakh people directly engaged in the hospitality industry in the state. Our estimate is that almost 50 per cent jobs have been lost from March 2020 till date. The state is losing approximately Rs 5,000 crore monthly in revenue from the industry.
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