Restaurant association seeks FM intervention for urgent liquidity support

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 22, 2020

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has urged the Central government for urgent policy and liquidity support from the government to survive the impact of Covid-induced lockdown. A four-member delegation of the industry body did a virtual conference with the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Revenue Secretary and Secretary of Economic Affairs department to discuss the challenges being faced by restaurant industry on Thursday.

In a statement, NRAI said it has requested the government to give an unemployment pay support for lower rung employees through the ESIC corpus. "Out of approximately 3.20 crore beneficiaries of the ESIC scheme, over 50 lakh belong to the hospitality sector," the restaurant association body stated. It has also asked the Finance Ministry to support the industry in terms of working capital support with the lowest possible interest with a six month moratorium.

Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI said, "We are fighting a grim battle for our existence and staring at massive job losses and we will need urgent policy and liquidity support from the government to survive this phase. The industry is second only to Agriculture in employing human capital.”

“We also conveyed to the Minister and officials that the current pandemic is one of the worst human crisis ever, and the event should therefore be declared as force majeure. This is similar to the invocation of force majeure made in the Real Estate sector,” he added.. In addition, the industry representatives reiterated a long-standing demand to be allowed to avail input tax credit on GST.

“The delegation apprised the Minister and the officials that how the modern-day digital landlords are hurting the interests of lakhs of small and large entrepreneurs in the sector. It was requested that an immediate clarification bringing them under the ambit of Press Note-2 of the Commerce ministry of December-2018. A proposal to regulate and cap platform-led discount & commission was also made,” the statement added.

Published on May 22, 2020

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