Hospitality Industry Welcomes Maha Govt.’s Decision To Waive Excise License Fee For 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 to waive 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 two Associations had jointly submitted multiple representations requesting for the waiver. FHRAI and HRAWI have thanked the Hon. CM – Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy CM – Shri Ajit Pawar, Minister of Tourism and Environment – Shri Aaditya Thackeray, Minister of Excise and Labor Department – Shri Dilip Walse-Patil. The Associations have also thanked the Principal Secretary Tourism, Culture, Excise and Aviation – Smt. Valsa Nair Singh for standing with the industry and facilitating the above.
“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 Ms Valsa Nair Singh for understanding our concern and escalating it to the Ministry,” says Mr Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI.
Ms. Valsa Nair Singh tweeted – “Govt. of Maharashtra waives license fees for excise pro rata vis-à-vis number of days the unit remains closed. The annual increase in renewal also waived off. A big step to 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 waiver of the fee, 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,” says Mr. Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI & Former President and Spokesperson, HRAWI.
The night curfew announced by the Maharashtra Government has dampened the spirits of hotels and restaurants in the State but the waiver of the excise fee is expected to bring a reason to cheer for the Hospitality industry.
“This announcement brings the industry a major relief. We appreciate the Maharashtra Government for hearing us out and for 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,” concludes Mr. Pradeep Shetty, Sr. Vice President, HRAWI.