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Hospitality sector should be given industry status: HAI

The Hotel Association of India (HAI) recently launched its West Bengal Chapter. Kicking off its efforts in the state, HAI has submitted a memorandum of industry demands to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra, seeking industry status for the hospitality sector.

HAI suggested that this will help in reducing costs and encourage re-investment while bringing greater transparency in the sector functioning.

A favourable policy decision of according industry status and allowing benefits available to manufacturing will strengthen the Indian hospitality industry, preserve and unlock its immense potential to make a significant contribution to the State’s GDP and jobs, supporting the post-pandemic economic revival of the region.

MP Bezbaruah, Secretary General, Hotel Association of India, said, “The Association believes that granting industry status to the sector will enable hotels across the state to avail benefits towards electricity and water tariff at an industrial rate, lower property tax, rationalisation of taxes & license fees, simplified approval process for hotel projects & hotel operations and other benefits accorded to industries – thus helping in ushering transparency, reduce costs, and encourage reinvestment. Such small steps are crucial for revival of the sector after the disastrous impact of the Pandemic and essential considering the extent of employment and income the sector generates.”

HAI will primarily focus on bringing relevant issues and challenges of the hospitality industry with the State Government as well as other important stakeholders within West Bengal.

K.B. Kachru, Vice President, Hotel Association of India & Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group said, “The State of West Bengal is a melting pot of Cultures and its capital Kolkata is often termed as the cultural capital of India. To the tourist, the state has much more to offer, from mountains to beaches, UNESCO sites, the tea gardens of Darjeeling, the Bengal tiger and the famous mangrove Sundarbans. The beauty and heritage of Bengal is impeccable and hence needs to be popularised throughout the globe. The ‘industry’ status will help in realising this dream as the growth of hospitality industry will ensure long lasting impact on the state’s employment, sustenance and flourishing of the cultural abundance.”

The launch of the West Bengal state chapter comes soon after the Association launched state chapters in Karnataka, Punjab and Telangana in December last year. The Association has nominated senior industry professionals including Vijay Shrikent, General Manager, Taj Bengal; Sumit Joshi, General Manager, The Oberoi Grand and Pramode Bhandari, Area General Manager, The Park from Kolkata to the West Bengal Chapter to give voice to the hospitality industry in the state.

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