Mumbai: Re-open restaurants and bars, Hotel and Restaurant Association appeals to BMC

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 10:21 PM IST
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Crowds of people in restaurants and bars in Soho, London, where outdoor seating is allowed following a lift in COVID restrictions. |

In view of the state's latest 'Break The Chain' order extending the stringent restrictions, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to grant concessions to the Hospitality industry.

Moreover, it has requested that stand-alone restaurants and bars, as well as restaurants and bars in hotels for outside guests, to be allowed to re-open immediately. HRAWI has also requested the Municipal Commissioner to extend the operation timing of restaurants to 11 pm.

The two lockdowns combined have impacted over 20 lakh jobs and for each month that hotels and restaurants remain closed, the industry suffered losses of over Rs 2000 crore. With the latest order, the industry is expected to remain close for another 15 days, which will cost it another approximately Rs.1000 crore in revenue loss, as per HRAWI.

There are around 210,000 restaurants and 10,500 hotels in the state and the industry employees around 30 lakh jobs directly and indirectly, which remain affected.

“The industry revenue in the beginning of 2021 was below 20 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and since April 2021 it did not even touch 5 percent of the pre-pandemic levels. Each lockdown extension is costing the industry massive loss and the debt is only piling up. No data or study has shown hotels and restaurants to be COVID19 spreaders. At present the positivity rate of Covid19 cases in Mumbai is less than 10 per cent. Under these circumstances to save the industry from NPA and bankruptcy; and to save the livelihood of millions of people engaged, we request the BMC Chief to grant us the concessions", said Sherry Bhatia, President of HRAWI.

The HRAWI has also pleaded to the Government for waiver of statutory charges including property tax and minimum water charges, electricity bills along with full relief in excise fees.

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