Tribune News Service
Bathinda, September 7
The hotel and bar owners in the state have heaved a sigh of relief as the government has announced to give six-month exemption in paying bar licence fee.
A delegation of state government officials, including Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Cabinet Ministers Sadhu Singh Dharmsot and Sukhbinder Singh Sukh Sarkaria, along with Excise Department officials, held a meeting with a delegation of Punjab Hotel Association at Chandigarh today.
Badal said: “We have agreed to exempt bar licence fee for a period of six months, starting from April 1 to September 31, as hoteliers did not have any business all this while and it will be unfair to charge them a fee for that period. Moreover, for the next six months, starting from October 1, they can pay the bar licence fee in instalments. This has been done to give a push to the sector. However, this will affect the government revenue to the tune of Rs 13 crore.”
“Even the issue pertaining to extending their timings till 10 pm was raised, but we told them that we will take up this issue in the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday and then a decision will be taken,” Badal stated.
At the meeting, hoteliers alleged that their income and business had hit an all -time low, the MC and PSPCL were harassing them for payment of sewerage, power bills and property tax. It is learnt that if the government gives any relaxation in payment of power bills to the hospitality sector, then shopkeepers and industry would also be up in arms, demanding the same.
Hotel business Badly hit due to Covid
- Punjab Hotel Association president Satish Arora claimed that around 5,000 small, medium and large hotels and restaurants, including national and international chains, had suffered monthly losses to the tune of Rs1,000 crore in the state.
- More than 3,000 eateries, restaurants and hotels across the state had already been shut due to the massive losses, while many more were on the verge of closure
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