Two friends enjoy drinks at a restaurant in Florida.
Two friends enjoy drinks at a restaurant in Florida.

In a relief for the hospitality and restaurant industry, which is dealing with a downturn in the wake of the lockdown, the state government has granted an extension to all the state excise licensees till September to pay their license renewal fees.

In March, the state government had allowed the industry to pay license fees in three instalments, namely, in June 30 and September 30 (25 per cent each) and December 31 (the balance 50 per cent).

However, the extension in the lockdown and the subsequent loss of business for the industry, led to stakeholders approaching the government for further relief. State excise minister Dilip Valse Patil and minister of state Shambhuraj Desai have granted a further extension for the payment of the renewal fees. Now, these will have to be paid in two instalments, namely, in September (50 per cent) and December (the remaining 50 per cent).

KL Umap, commissioner, State Excise, said this decision would benefit the hospitality industry by giving a three-month window period for payment of license fees. The department is expected to generate revenues of Rs 1,045 crore through renewal of licenses.

This decision will cover around 25,500 licensees, mainly FL-III licenses (restaurant and bars). “Of these, around 80 per cent to 85 per cent are yet to pay their license fees, due to lack of business,” said an official, adding this decision would largely benefit them.

He added that of the remaining license holders, including wine shops (FL-II), beer shops (FLBR-II) and retail wine shops (CL-III), around 80 per cent had already paid the license renewal fees. However, the extension will grant relief to those who are yet to pay.

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