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HRAWI demands for further property tax waiver

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has thanked the BMC and the Government of Maharashtra for acceding to the various representations made by the Association for waiver on Property tax for the hotel industry. While the Association has welcomed the three-month waiver, it has also expressed that the waiver should have been granted to all hotels as well as restaurants for a six-month period, during which they were asked to remain shut. It stated that hotels and restaurants are facing major cash crunch and the pandemic crises has brought the shutters down on many establishments. In such times, with the Industry being on the verge of collapse, not just hotels but restaurants as well are hoping for complete waiver on taxes or levies for the duration of at least 12 months.

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI, said, “We are thankful to the Government and the BMC for considering our plea and showing the industry the much-needed solidarity. It is nice to know that the Government cares and acknowledges the Hospitality industry’s contribution and support during the crises.”

The HRAWI has consistently been making representations to the BMC to waive the property taxes for the entire industry for at least 6 months. The industry is under major crises, facing severe cash crunch and is one of the hardest hit among all sectors.

Kohli added, “While we welcome the 3-month waiver, one cannot overlook the fact that hotels and restaurants have been forced to remain shut for 6 months. During this time, establishments had to shell out for electricity and maintenance, utilities, statutory fees and other levies and also salaries. There is no income but only expenses and we don’t know for how much longer these conditions are going to last. Even by the most conservative estimates, it will take nothing less than a year or a year and a half before businesses might see some recovery. Until then, we will require the Government’s support and which it can offer to us in the form of tax and levy waivers. If nothing, the waivers will help reduce the burden in outgoings for hotels and restaurants which as mentioned earlier, have no income whatsoever, at present.”

The HRAWI has also reminded the Government of the entire costs of operation and maintenance borne by hotels for quarantining health workers and other essential workers for which they have not been paid yet. This has resulted in many hoteliers having to borrow loans to keep the hotels running.

Kohli said, “The industry, in spite of being the hardest hit has stood by the Government in times of dire need and whenever it was required. We are positive that the BMC will show graciousness and magnanimity and accede to the pleas of the industry.”

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