The pandemic induced lockdown has severely broken the backbone of the hospitality industry. And now, with no relief coming forth from the state and municipal corporation in the form of payments of various types of taxes has inflicted additional sufferings on the people associated with this business.
Pradeep Shetty senior vice president of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) said, "As per our estimation due to the lockdown about 30 per cent restaurants have never opened and 20 per cent prominently shut down due to losses incurred. Also, those who are in business are in great stress. There is a sharp decline in occupancy in hotels as work from home still continues. Besides, there are no tourists, no international travellers so the industry is badly hit. The revenue is 50 per cent lower as compared to the pre-Covid period."
The industry now hopes that the vaccination drive getting a good cover in next four to five months time period will help revive the sector.
In fact, the hotel and restaurants were the first to accommodate frontline warriors and to provide free meals to poor migrant workers and daily wage earners. Despite their efforts, several restaurant owners bills have not been disbursed properly, asserted Shetty. Reportedly, amidst the lockdown, over 3,000 hotel rooms were taken over by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for essential staffers in Mumbai on a no profit and loss basis. A committee was also set up, wherein it was decided that hoteliers will be paid as per their star ratings. However, the corporation has not fulfilled the promise as agreed and only a meagre amount was paid claimed the hoteliers.
Meanwhile, a delegation of AHAR (Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association) met the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently at his residence Varsha demanding to waive -of BMC license fees and facilitate easy installments of Excise license fees.