Punjab hoteliers seek 'industry' status

Updated December 15, 2020

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Chandigarh, Dec 15 (IANS) The Hotel Association of India (HAI), the apex body of hotels, on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to accord "industry" status to the hospitality sector, enabling hotels to avail benefits of lower electricity and water tariffs.

In a representation to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, it said a decision in this regard would "usher transparency, reduce costs and encourage re-investment" while strengthening the sector to unlock its potential to make significant contributions to the state GDP as well as employment to support the post-pandemic economic revival.

In 2019, the domestic tourist arrivals to Punjab were approximately 47 million, while the foreign tourist arrivals were over one million.

Gautam Kapoor, a member of the Punjab State Committee of Hotel Association of India, said: "Currently, the hotel industry is going through revenue slump in the state, and with high fixed operating costs of heating, light, power, license fees, lease rentals, property taxes, etc., the industry is extremely precariously poised.

"Many people have already lost their jobs in the sector due to the ongoing pandemic. These numbers are now slowly coming down since the removal of restriction on the hospitality sector. However, the very survival of the sector is under serious threat and this intervention will impact the recovery of the sector to a considerably large extent."

He said on assigning the hospitality sector the status of an "industry" will allow hotels to avail the benefits like lower electricity and water tariff, lower property tax, rationalisation of taxes and license fees and simplified approval process for hotel projects and hotel operations.

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