Hotel industry in Chandigarh on ‘brink of collapse’

-CB Edit Desk

Resurgence in coronavirus cases has forced the UT Administration to reintroduce strict restrictions and this has adversely impacted the hospitality industry in Chandigarh, as reported by The Tribune.

“The hospitality industry in Chandigarh has virtually crashed resulting in huge job retrenchments and financial losses. Most of the food and beverages outlets in the city are temporarily closed and if some relief package is not extended, they might permanently shut shop,” said Ankit Gupta, president of Chandigarh Hospitality Association and joint secretary of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India.

Gupta said they had also written to UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore requesting for some relief package for the industry.

Their demands in the relief package were waiver of ground rent and property tax for the financial year 2021-22, deferment of electricity charges along with request for industrial tariff, exemption of VAT and assessment fee, tourism survival package and creation of a Covid relief fund (through ESI) for payment of salaries.

Keeping in view a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the city, the UT Administration had decided to impose corona curfew in the city from 5 am on May 4 to break the chain of Covid transmission. However, after discussions with medical experts, Badnore on May 17 decided to extend the corona curfew for another week, from 5 am on May 18 to 5 am on May 25, so that the gain of number of Covid-19 cases coming down steadily due to the restrictions imposed under the curfew was not wasted.

Expressing similar views, Manmohan Singh, president, Hotels Association, Chandigarh, said: “The hospitality industry is on the brink of collapse and much more than the promoters, it’s our workmen who are going to face total joblessness and scarcity of resources because service industry does not only comprise of the promoters but largely of workmen. The ratio of workmen in service industry is the highest for performance of business.”

He said they very well understand that life is very important over livelihood, but a middle path should be found for coexistence.

Another hotelier said the Administration should focus on vaccination instead of imposing corona curfew, as it would sound death knell to their business. They would not be able to bear the loss of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, as they were yet to recover from the previous lockdown, he added

Meanwhile, the Administrator had asked the Deputy Commissioner to meet the representatives of various traders, market associations and industry associations to solicit their views and suggestions regarding relief that could be provided to them due to loss suffered in the shut-down.

Their demands

  • Waiver of ground rent and property tax for the financial year 2021-22
  • Deferment of electricity charges along with request for industrial tariff
  • Exemption of VAT and assessment fee
  • Tourism survival package
  • Creation of a Covid relief fund (through ESI) for payment of salaries

 

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