Bengaluru, April 16 | In the wake of an exponential spurt in Covid cases that has resulted in enforcement of night curfew, the Bruhat Bengaluru Hoteliers Association (BBHA) demanded the Karnataka government provide them exemption on property tax, electricity bills, and excise license fees to help them survive during the second year of the pandemic.
According to the memorandum submitted by BBHA President P.C. Rao to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday, the association stated that even as the hotel industry was readying itself to stabilise itself from the losses experienced during the Covid-induced lockdown last fiscal 2020-21, the second wave of Covid has hit the industry again.
“Measures like 50 per cent seating rule and night curfew has only rubbed salt on the ailing hotel industry, which is yet to recover fully,” he said.
The BBHA has demanded 50 per cent exemption in license charges of the Karnataka Pollution Control Board, and food Safety and charges levied as per the Karnataka Shops and Establishments Act.
Rao added that they were not against the government’s decisions aimed to curb pandemic, but at the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that they were experiencing an estimated 30 per cent loss of business due to the new restrictions (night curfew) enforced by the state government.
He said that Karnataka should enforce the night curfew on the lines of Tamil Nadu. “Tamil Nadu has imposed night curfew from 11 p.m. which is a more sensible decision. If the night curfew starts at 10 p.m. like it is in Karnataka, the hoteliers will have started preparing closing their hotels by 9 p.m. itself. As a hotel or bar needs at least 30 to 40 minutes to serve a customer. Therefore, the BBHA had been asking Karnataka to change the night curfew timing from 11 p.m., instead of 10 p.m.,” he said.
He also thanked the Karnataka government for agreeing to their demand to consider hotel industry workers as frontline workers and administer them Covid vaccines free of cost, noting that the hotel industry had been in the forefront of fighting the pandemic by offering its many of its properties for Covid Care Centres.