In the context of the ongoing COVID restrictions imposed on the trade and industry, the representatives of hotels and restaurants as well as traders have written to the Delhi Government requesting for a relief to the sector. While hotels and restaurants have asked for a waiver of statutory charges, traders have requested to review the instruction for present odd-even timings as the number of new cases have shown a trend of slowing down. The present situation, the owners said, is akin to a lockdown and it’s affecting the business to a considerable extent. The damage that the sector has been experiencing since last year would take nothing less than five years to return to the pre-pandemic levels, they said.
“Frequent lockdowns and restrictions coupled with travel restrictions have resulted in the industry experiencing the worst phase. Every time the situation eases a bit, there seems to be some hope of getting the business back on track. But, the stop-start-stop arrangement hasn’t allowed the hotel industry to have a continuous run,” said G.S Kohli, vice-president of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants in India (FHRAI) in a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
He asked the CM for a waiver of statutory payments such as property tax, water charges, electricity charges and excise licence fee of the hospitality establishments for a minimum period of one year to help out the highly capital-intensive industry, manage a lot of overhead expenses even while it is not functioning. A fresh round of layoffs and pay cuts would leave the industry completely dry of trained manpower, a majority of which have already been shifted to the other industry in search of better job security. , said Mr Kohli.
Meanwhile, traders have demanded the withdrawal of the odd-even opening system of shops as well as the weekend curfew as COVID-19 numbers are declining in the city. In a representation to Atul Bhargava of the NDTA said “Let us work to survive and support numerous families who depend on our shops and restaurants.”