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Rs 500 cr loss on New Year, 30% loss with curfew : Hotels, Bar and Restaurant associations seek relaxation

The pubs, Bars and Hotel owners association are making last-ditch efforts to convince the government to change its decision on the night curfew timings and are seeking relaxation on New Year as they say restrictions will result in a loss of Rs 500 crores statewide and impact the industry further.

Rs 500 cr loss on New Year, 30% loss with curfew : Hotels, Bar and Restaurant associations seek relaxation-dnm
Bengaluru, First Published Dec 29, 2021, 10:19 PM IST
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With Covid hitting hard on the economy of pubs, hotels, bar and restaurants across Karnataka, the association says that the revenue collection on New Year Day has come down from Rs 1000 crore to Rs 500 crore in the last two years and with restrictions now, it will further impact the business.

PC Rao, president of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Hotels Association, said that the hotel industry has already been hit and with the night curfew and also 50 per cent occupancy rule, many hoteliers will further suffer losses. "Not just BBMP Hotel association, state hotel, pubs, bar, and restaurant association also has approached the government today and gave a representation seeking change in restrictions. The night curfew should be relaxed from 10 pm to 5 am and instead the closing time should be made 11 pm to 5 am. Similarly, there should be relaxation on New Year's day and all these activities should be allowed till 1 pm,” said Rao.

The association says that due to the restrictions, police harassment may escalate as cops in uniform may barge as early as 8:30 pm and ask the hotels to begin closing operation.

As per Govindraj Hegde, secretary of Karnataka Wine Merchants Association, said, "Due to mounting losses post-Covid, as many as 700 owners of pubs, bars and hotels serving liquor have not renewed license and this indicates that many of them cannot sustain loss. Last year, there were 11,682 holders and now there are 10,982. The revenue collection for the state was Rs 26.395 crore in the year 2020 but now it has tumbled to Rs 13.070 crore. "For wine shops and liquor mart, people can take home, but hotels and restaurants will be impacted a lot." 

"Both non-vegetarian and vegetarian put together there are over 5000 restaurants in Karnataka and what will be their situation, I cannot imagine. During Covid 1st wave 45-day lockdown, there was a loss of Rs 1300 crore and there is no rebate on the license fee, building charges and GST. Now, they (hotels, pubs  and restaurants) would have made all preparations but the government has suddenly taken this decision. They should have given a hint a month ago at least, this will again contribute to the loss,” Hegde added. 

Echoing similar sentiments, Karnataka State Hotel Association secretary Madhukar Shetty said that bookings across tourist destinations like Mysuru, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Karwar, Bijapur, Bengaluru, Udupi, Ballari, and other places are witnessing cancellation of stay. Nearly 70 per cent of bookings have been canceled. The industry which has witnessed a loss would try to make it during New Year time with double tariff. At present, the business is only about 30 per cent and there is a loss of 70 per cent.

He further added that the restriction will give an opportunity to cops to further exploit and harass pubs, bars, and hotels. “We will follow all the Covid-19 protocol and we should be allowed to do the business by giving some relaxation on timings and the 50 per cent occupancy rule,” he stressed. 

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