AHAR (Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association), the apex body of the industry on Wednesday urged the Maharashtra Government to waive license fees payable to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the lockdown period and allow easy instalments of payment of Excise licence fees. The delegation led by AHAR President Shivanand Shetty met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Excise Minister Dilip Walse Patil and urged them to provide relief in these fees as the industry is struggling to recover from the coronavirus-induced lockdown and economic downturn.
Shetty told Free Press Journal, “We raised the waiver of BMC licence fees during the period of lockdown when our businesses were shut and also how to facilitate easy instalment payment of Excise licence fees. CM has assured his support and personal attention on how it can be resolved in the best interest of the industry.’’
Chief Minister’s Office said the CM has assured the industry representatives that the state government will consider their demands.
Today’s meeting came days after Thackeray’s ultimatum to the hotel, restaurant, and mall operators to strictly follow norms to avoid a fresh lockdown. CM had expressed serious concerns over the crowding, lack of compliance with Covid-19 norms and SOPs and warned that the government will not tolerate this anymore. His message was "Control crowding and keep a safe distance.
Shetty said the AHAR has formed 40 squads to maintain vigil at restaurants and ensure SOPs are followed to make restaurants a safer place to visit. This was in response to Thackeray’s suggestion to hotel operators to take initiative to control crowding.