Plans are afoot in Maharashtra to allow hotels and restaurants to start business soon, said chief minister Uddhav Thackeray today. He added that in the backdrop of covid-19, a mechanism is being worked out to revive the industry.
Thackeray who held a video conference with officials of the Hotels Association in the state today advised the hotel management not to lay off its workers and employees.
“Hotels as well as lodges, which are important industries in the tourism business, have to be allowed with great care before starting. Your responsibility is two-fold,” Thackeray said adding that every visitor to the hotel will have to undergo a medical examination to ensure that the traveler is healthy.
He urged the hotel industry not to layoff its staff assuring the hotels that even the trade unions will not make unreasonable demands in this time of crisis.
The hotel industry representative pitched for some hotels and restaurants to be allowed to start at safe distances. Around 80% of the staff in the hotel sector are migrant workers.
Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Director, Pritam Hotels and President, Hotel, and Restaurant Association of Western India said the industry now needs working capital. The government should also see us as Corona Warriors. Jobs are going everywhere but we are taking care that the stoves in our employees ’homes remain lit. We try to stay with the government.
Vivek Nair, member of the hotels association said electricity bills should be reduced and water and electricity should be made available to hotels at industrial rates.
According to a statement from the government, the covid-19 induced lockdown has impacted the hotel and restaurant industry’s business by over ₹six lakh crore. The industry representatives argued that a family can come to hotels with all kinds of care and security. If the tables are arranged accordingly, there will be no problem in keeping them clean.
The hotels in Mumbai have currently been taken over by the municipality to serve as a quarantine facility for workers involved in covid-19 relief work and also for patients. Hotels suggested that if they get a minimum payment, they will be able to cover the expenses.
Puneet Chatwal, managing director, and chief executive officer of Indian Hotels Company Ltd, which runs the Taj group of hotels, said that many are having to cut back on their workers and employees. “So if hotels are started to some extent, the business will grow,” he said.