The state cabinet on Thursday awarded the hospitality sector the status of industry. This decision should help revive the hotel sector, which is now eligible for various benefits, including discounts on electricity costs as well as water and property taxes.
Today, Cabinet approved the proposed ‘industry statute’ for hotels in Maharashtra. This is a milestone for the hospitality industry. After the reduction of pre-establishment licenses from 70 to 10, the industry status will provide essential support to hotels, ”Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray tweeted on Thursday.
Establishments classified as hotels by the Union Ministry of Tourism can enjoy the benefits from April 1, 2021. A committee of experts will finalize standards for other establishments over the next two months.
Valsa Nair, Principal Secretary of the Department of Tourism, said: “There are 110 hotels, ranging from one to five stars, classified by the Department of Tourism. As classification is not mandatory, many did not apply. To bring them benefits as well, the committee will propose standards that will be finalized by the state. Under these standards, they will have to apply online and after a field visit, a new decision will be made by the state. “
With the status in place, qualifying hotels will be billed at industrial rates for power, water supply, taxes and charges instead of the currently applicable commercial rates. In addition, for the additional floor area index (ISF), establishments will be invoiced at the industrial rate.
“We look forward to the arrival of more global hotels in Maharashtra, the state being the easiest to set up and the most user-friendly to manage,” Thackeray tweeted.
State Industry Minister Subhash Desai said tariffs for electricity at industrial tariffs would be a game-changer for the hospitality industry. “This is one of the sectors that has suffered a lot because of the Covid-19. The potential for job creation is enormous in the service sector, especially in the hotel industry. We want to revive the sector. All facilities and incentives applicable to industries will now also apply to the hospitality sector, ”Desai said. He also said the government expects the benefits received by the industry to be passed on to customers, which in turn would attract more tourists.
Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality and member of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), said the move would be a big boost for the industry. “This is definitely a major decision for the hospitality industry. We have been fighting for this for over 25 years. Hats off to the government of Maharashtra. First, they reduced the number of licenses and now gave hotels industry status. For now, restaurants are excluded, but we hope they will be too soon, ”said Amlani.
To attract more investors, the state government approved the Ease of Doing Business policy last month, reducing the number of licenses required to start a business in the hospitality industry to 10 from 70 previously.