After a series of concrete representations in government bodies finally a breeze of waive-off befell to the Hospitalities. Maharashtra government recently announced to forgo the excise license fee on a pro-rata basis and withdraw the 15 per cent annual fee increase for the year 2020. The two Associations, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) and the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has applauded the initiave from the Government. This step of Maharashtra government came while COVID-19 has hit the business badly, expected to support the counterparts firmly.
Commenting on the move, Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI said, “This is a major relief for the restaurants in the State. We thank the Government for giving us the waiver on the excise license fee. The eight odd months of lockdown has wrecked almost every other player in the Hospitality industry. An annual fee should be payable if a service is rendered for the entire year.”
“The HRAWI had been contesting the fee’s applicability since the Government asked the restaurants to remain closed during the lockdown. Also, the 15 per cent increase in the annual fee when hotels and restaurants remained shut was unfair. We are especially thankful to Ms. Valsa Nair Singh for understanding our concern and escalating it to the Ministry,” he said.
Underscoring impact Valsa Nair Singh tweeted – “Government of Maharashtra waives has waived off the excise license fee. The annual increase in renewal has also been waived off. This is a big step towards ensuring normalcy in the sector.”
“In our recent meeting with Ms. Valsa Nair Singh, we expressed our restaurant members’ concerns with regards to the hike in the excise license fee. We made a strong case for the fee waiver, as was done by the Madhya Pradesh Government and Delhi Government last month. Restaurants had not voluntarily closed business but were asked to do so, as per Government orders during the lockdown. The Government, especially our Hon’ble CM and Tourism Minister, have been very receptive to our pleas throughout the crisis, and we are relieved to hear the announcement. I would be failing if I did not thank Ms. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secy. Tourism & Excise for making this possible,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI and Former President & Spokesperson, HRAWI.
Expressing his views on Maharashtra Government’s step, Pradeep Shetty, Senior Vice President, HRAWI said, “This announcement brings the industry a major relief. We appreciate the Maharashtra Government for hearing us out and understanding our demand for the waiver on the excise license fee.”
“Also, recently Hospitality industry in Maharashtra was declared an industry by this Government, which shows its commitment towards tourism. The efforts made by the members of FHRAI and HRAWI to convince the Government has made this possible, and we congratulate every restaurateur and hotelier on this small but significant win,” he concluded. .
In a recent stroll, Maharashtra imposes night curfew that is bound to hit the restraints badly, while the wave-off coming in between has shown silver lining.