News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Delhi: AAP govt removes red tape from menu of restaurants
News Source/Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

NEW DELHI: As a big relief to the restaurant industry in the capital battling a tough time due to Covid-19, Delhi government’s tourism department on Tuesday notified the decision to terminate the scheme for granting approvals to standalone restaurants following directions from chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The notification comes in the wake of a meeting convened by Kejriwal in October, where he had directed officials to remove hassles in the ease of doing business for the restaurant industry in the city.

“This is a very positive step that helps in ease of business, particularly at a time when things are so difficult,” said Manpreet Singh, treasurer of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI). “This decision will especially help new restaurants that have to go from one agency to another to get licences, which quite often see duplication,” Singh said.

According to the order, “In terms of a decision taken by the chief minister in the meeting dated October 7 regarding ease of doing business for restaurants, the Voluntary Scheme of Granting Approval to the Standalone Restaurants, being implemented by the tourism department, is, hereby, discontinued with immediate effect.”

Before June 2003, the scheme was being implemented by the Union tourism ministry. It was discontinued on June 30, 2003 and the states were asked to formulate their own guidelines if they wished to implement the scheme.

The scheme was adopted by Delhi’s tourism department and formally launched in 2004 for all restaurants having more than 30 seats, a statement from the tourism minister’s office said. Various reviews and reconsiderations were done by the department over the years on the request of restaurant associations and, owing to the recent circumstances caused by the Covid pandemic, Kejriwal has ordered its removal, the statement added.

On October 7, Kejriwal had convened a meeting with the delegation of the NRAI, where various decisions were taken for the economic revival of the hospitality industry in the national capital. A detailed representation was received from the restaurant association to provide relief and ease regulations and approvals constraining the growth of the restaurant industry in Delhi.

The statement said that the notification would provide relief to the hospitality industry, encourage their economic growth and generate employment in the industry.

Singh said the association had requested Delhi government to do away with the tourism department’s approval as it was just duplication of work and another waste of time for the restaurateurs. He said NRAI expected a few more decisions that would further help the industry.

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News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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