In a major relief to the hospitality industry, the government of Maharashtra has announced the waiving off the excise license fee on pro-rata basis along with the roll-back of the 15 per cent annual fee increase for the year 2020.
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) and the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) have welcomed the Maharashtra Government's decision. Hotels and restaurants had been badly hit during the lockdown and whatever hopes they had of cutting some of the losses during Christmas and New Year were also over after the government announced a night curfew from December 22 to January 5, 2021.
The government hopes this move will go a long way in restoring normalcy for the sector that has been hit badly due to the lockdown caused by the Covid19 pandemic.
"This is a major relief for the restaurants in the state and 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 applicability of the fee ever since restaurants were asked to remain closed during the lockdown. Also the 15 per cent increase in the annual fee at a time when hotels and restaurants remained shut was unfair. We are especially thankful to Valsa Nair Singh for understanding our concern and escalating it to the Ministry," Sherry Bhatia, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, said.
"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 Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secy. Tourism & Excise for making this possible," Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice president of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said.