No fiscal package, losses force hoteliers to wind up business - ECAS Punjab

No fiscal package, losses force hoteliers to wind up business

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Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 21

At a time when few relaxations have been given to the hospitality sector, several hotels, restaurants and eateries in the state are shutting down their operations. The owners are finding it difficult to bear losses incurred during the lockdown.

More than 2,500 eateries and restaurants have closed down in the state. Even banquet hall bookings haven’t been allowed yet, hitting the hotel business hard.

Also, due to a ban on the opening of swimming pools, big hotels can’t even outsource the facility.

Punjab Hotel and Restaurant Association president Satish Arora said: “Due to massive losses, more than 2,500 eateries, restaurants and hotels across the state have already been shut, with many more on the verge of closure. The owners of such outlets have been finding it difficult to pay rent, salaries of employees, power bills and other fixed expenses with no income during the lockdown period.”

Arora said it had become extremely difficult to survive in the absence of a financial compensation. He sought a suitable package for the hospitality sector to cover losses incurred during the lockdown period.

“The sector has been hit hard and the next five to six months are going to be tough. The Central or the state government must announce some package to help the business stay afloat,” he said.

Ashwani Malhotra, owner of Saffron Hotel in Bathinda, said: “I have to pay a monthly rent of Rs 2 lakh. It is a huge burden given the fact that I have had no income for the past few months. Moreover, it seems that the hotel industry won’t be able to pick up pace in the coming six months as well. Therefore, I have no option but to shut the hotel to curtail further losses.”



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