Ex Cabinet Minister Dr Anees Ahmed today submitted a deputation to Uddhav Thackeray CM Maharashtra to apprise him about the problems faced by the hotel industry and requested him to provide relief measures to the hospitality industry.Ahmed said that hotel industry is not only a direct large-scale employer but also creates plenty of job opportunities among the support sectors.
The Covid -19 epidemic was an unexpected blow for an industry which was in the grip of a market slow down. Occupancies in hotels in metro cities have seen a free fall since implementation of lockdown forcing many to shut floors, partially close facilities like specialty restaurants, conference venues, banqueting facilities etc. steps which are unprecedented in the history of the industry.Veteran Congress leader went on to add that if you analyze the gravity of the financial situation in the sector, the sector was the first to be affected and probably they will be the last to come out of this.
Ahmed also alleged that Even 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned nothing specific for the hospitality sector, which has been amongst the worst-hit sector.
Ahmed went on to add that Covid 19 has disastrously affected the hotel and restaurant industry and the question of very survival of the said industry has arisen.It is the need of the hour to provide immediate relief package to the hospitality industry failing which their survival would be in danger reiterated Anees Ahmed .He suggested following relief measures to be implemented on priority for the hospitality industry.Formation of Tourism Task Force directly under CM should be formed specifically to continuously monitor, strategize and implement a revival plan.Ask banks operating in the state to Grant one-year moratorium on all working capital principal, interest payments, loans and overdrafts to bring in liquidity.
Relief package especially in electricity bills, excise duties, property taxes, deferment of statutory liabilities to a minimum of 12 months at different levels, government subsidy for employee salaries, GST collected to be used as working capital for six months, Removal of fees for any upcoming licenses.Providing monetary support to the casual/contracted staff of the hospitality, industries is warranted. A large number of these professionals are the backbone of the tourism industry and offering them aid in a time like this would go a long way.
Last but not the least, he requested CM to personally look into the matter and take urgent measures for giving relief to the hospitality industry.