Industry News

  • HRAWI appeals to government to extend time limits as hotel industry gears-up for Christmas & New Year
  • Date: 2013-12-17
  • The previous year, the industry was besieged by a variety of factors that included a slow economy, higher levies and delays in Government permissions. By internal estimates, the hotels and restaurants on an average fell short of targets by as much as 45 percent. In a bid to not fall pray again to these circumstances, the hotel industry has decided to gear up well in advance to ensure that 2012 is not repeated as a reason, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has demanded the government to extend relevant timely permissions.


    “Christmas and New Year Eve functions are held annually. Yet there is no blanket sanction till the eve of the event day. The permission is given last minute, sometimes as late as 5 pm. Our humble request is that there should be a permanent permission, amendable in an emergency situation so that the licensed establishments on payment of fees, could market their events well in time,” D S Advani, President, Hotel HRAWI expressed in a petition to the newly appointed J S Saharia, Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra.


    The petition further requests that the changes of the above timings be introduced in uniformity in all the commissionerate areas of Maharashtra and in commonality with the Prohibition & Excise Department. The two departments, although wings of the Home Department, do not issue similar timings for operations.


    “Last year, due to an arbitrary increase in entertainment duty, many five star hotels and stand alone restaurants did not hold special functions for New Year. The ambiguous clause of ‘loud music’ was explained as the reason for this increase. Apparently, celebrations don’t go without the involvement of music and levying additional duty for the same discouraged hotels from hosting celebrations. This led to a loss of revenue not only for the hoteliers, but also for the State Government. Lackluster New Years impact the overall spirit of the occasion. With each passing year we are losing our patrons to states like Goa and Karnataka that have more liberal and reasonable policies in this regard. Corrective steps need to be undertaken on a priority basis, else very soon we will have a crisis in our hands,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, HRAWI.
    “If the Government does not step in, the New Year will be lackluster this year also. And this does not augur well for the industry in the State. Not only inbound tourists will give our State a miss, but residents from here will also go out to celebrate. We beseech the Government to adopt a rational policy,” stated Kamlesh Barot, the immediate past President of HRAWI.


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