Pune, 3 April 2021: About 500 hotel and restaurant owners have come together under the banner of ‘United Hospitality Association’ (UHA) to oppose the Pune administration’s decision to shut down eateries, food joints, restaurants, hotels for the next seven days from today.
According to UHA, the hospitality industry is one of the highest tax-paying sectors and provides maximum employment. “We should be given maximum benefits in terms of taxation and relaxation on electricity bills and others. If we are shut for 15 days it takes us 2-3 months ahead to function normally as it requires manpower and trained specific employees to get us back function normally. We are paying excise fees without being allowed to do business”, UHA stated.
During an online press conference today, UHA president Sandeep Narang said, “By closing the hotel industry, the government plans to kill the industry. There are so many things which the government has not done and thinks that only hotels and restaurants spread Coronavirus disease (COVID19). We demand to allow hotels and restaurants to remain open till 11 pm. We will follow all COVID prevention norms.”
UHA secretary Darsshan Ravalh informed, “We have already suffered huge losses. We paid the electricity bills as MSEDCL threatened to disconnect the connection. Many hotels paid huge excise taxes. The government had been reducing business hours and now we have been asked to close the business completely. I request the government to cancel this lockdown and invite us for discussion about ways to prevent COVID while doing our business. For mistakes of few, do not punish everyone by shutting down our business.”
Adv Ajinkya Shinde, vice president of the association, added, “The owners have invested huge money to re-start the hotels and restaurants. There are over 8000 hotels, restaurants in Pune. The owners, their family members, vendors and customers are dependent on this industry. But we are being given a blind eye by the government. I appeal to the government to give us some relief measures.”
Adv Sujoy Joshi, a core committee member, said, “If we read the restriction orders we find that the government is prejudiced towards the hotel industry.”