HAI demands industry status for hospitality sector

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PTI

Kolkata

A leading hoteliers’ body has  urged the West Bengal government to grant industry status to the sector which has been severely hit due to the pandemic.

An industry status will benefit hotels across the state to get electricity and water tariff at a cheaper rate, lower property tax and license fees, Hotel Association of India (HAI) said in a memorandum to the state government.

The HAI also unveiled its West Bengal chapter after similar units were launched in Karnataka, Punjab and Telangana in December last. In a memorandum to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, HAI secretary general MP Bezbaruah, said, “the association believes that granting industry status to the sector will enable hotels across the state to avail benefits that will reduce costs and encourage reinvestment.

“Such small steps are crucial for revival of the sector after the disastrous impact of the pandemic and essential considering the extent of employment and income the sector generates.”

HAI vice president K B Kachru, representing Radisson Hotel Group, said, the state has much more to offer to tourists from mountains to beaches.

 UNESCO sites, the tea gardens of Darjeeling, the Bengal tiger and the famous mangrove Sundarbans.

“The beauty and heritage of Bengal is impeccable and hence needs to be popularised throughout the globe. An industry status will help in realising this dream as the growth of the hospitality industry will ensure a long lasting impact on the states employment, sustenance and flourishing of cultural abundance,” Kachru said.

The sector has been dealt with a severe blow in the state due to the ongoing pandemic and needs immediate policy intervention to tide over the disastrous impact of the global health crisis, general manager of The Park Kolkata and Bengal chapter member of HAI, Pramode Bhandari, said.

“The removal of restrictions on the hospitality sector has helped in bringing hope for hotel players but the sector needs strong support from the state government to chart the path of overall recovery in the coming years,” he said.