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Maharashtra hotels and restaurants want return to regular timings

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 29, 2021

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray   -  PTI

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The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has submitted a representation to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other senior members of the state government for extended business hours.

The association wants the timings of hotels and restaurants restored through the week, as per the licence held by establishments. It also suggested that the Government could relax the timings on condition that restaurant staff are fully vaccinated.

The association stated that since October 2020, restaurants in Maharashtra were allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity during restricted timings. But the second wave of the pandemic had led to another lockdown and, later, more severe restrictions were imposed on restaurants.

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“The rental and salary expenses, servicing of old debts, negative cash flows, and statutory payment obligations have made running a hotel or restaurant most unviable under the present situation; and all revival efforts have gone down the drain. However, things are looking up for the State with around three crore of its population receiving at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and the number of new cases is steadily on the decline,” says Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI.

The country’s hospitality sector is among the worst-hit due to the pandemic. Nearly 30 per cent of the hotels and restaurants have shut permanently due to losses. Over 20 per cent still haven’t opened fully and the rest are running into losses with revenues below 50 per cent of pre-Covid level.

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The association contended that the current restaurant timings of 7 am to 10 pm do not complement the business and added to the losses caused by two lockdowns. “We recommend that the Government allows hotel and restaurants to revert to the pre-pandemic timings through the week. This will not only benefit restaurants but also promote staggered venturing out of the public,” it said.

Published on September 29, 2021

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