Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has urged him to provide immediate relief to the hospitality industry that has been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. He advised the government to provide relief in duties and taxes levied, amongst other measures, for operationalising the sector.
Pawar’s move is crucial as the hospitality industry has expressed serious displeasure for not getting any relief in the Rs 20.97 lakh crore package announced by the central government. The sector employs 7.30 million (73 lakh) people and is the second largest employer of human capital in India after agriculture.
Pawar said the pandemic has impaired all economic activity and, thereby, has caused great distress among the people. It has disastrously affected the hotel and restaurant industry and the question of the very survival of the said industry has arisen.
The former union minister referred to the Poona Hoteliers Association’s letter requesting immediate relief in duties and taxes levied by the state government for operationalising the businesses.
“Relief was demanded especially in electricity bills, excise duties, property taxes and fixing room and table occupancy criterion. The association has also requested for easing licensing procedure and other necessary clearances,’’ said Pawar. He called upon the CM to personally look into the matter and take urgent measures for giving relief to the hospitality industry.