Allow us to serve liquor, hoteliers urge Chandigarh Administration : The Tribune India

Allow us to serve liquor, hoteliers urge Chandigarh Administration

Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 23

As the Punjab Government has allowed restaurants in the state to serve alcohol, local hoteliers now fear losing business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hoteliers believe that the bacchus lovers would now have an option to dine out in Mohali restaurants, which would put a deep dent in their business.

Timings a hindrance

A microbrewery owner said, “Operational timings are already hindering us from operating in full steam and if our customers start moving to Mohali, we will have nothing to offer.”

“We are already having a near to no business. Now that the Punjab Government has allowed hotels to serve liquor, booze lovers will surely go to Mohali,” a local hotelier said.

Interestingly, the UT Administration follows the Punjab State Excise Act, 1914, in order to penalise Chandigarh-based restaurants, in case of any negligence.

The City Chandigarh Hospitality Association has written to the Finance Secretary and Secretary, Excise and Taxation, to allow them to serve alcohol in food and beverage outlets. “...since Chandigarh is governed by provision of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, it is requested to allow sale of alcohol in hotels/restaurants and other hospitality services as per designated guidelines. This will facilitate some movement in the paralysed hospitality sector and ensure more revenue to the UT Administration,” wrote Ankit Gupta in the memorandum.

“If the Administration allows us to serve alcohol, it will be a big help for us. Operational timings are already hindering us from operating in full steam and if our customers start moving to Mohali, we will have nothing to offer,” said a microbrewery owner.

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