Recently, the Maharashtra Cabinet accorded the hospitality sector the status of an industry.
With the industry status, the sector is now eligible for various benefits including rebates in electricity charges, property and water taxes.
This decision aims to help restore the ailing hospitality sector
Aaditya Thackeray, Environment Minister, and Tourism Minister, Maharashtra said, “Today, the Cabinet has approved ’industry status’ proposal for hotels in Maharashtra. This is a landmark moment for the hotel industry. After the reduction of pre-establishment licenses from 70 to 10, industry status will give much-needed support to hotels.”
Establishments that are classified as hotels by the Union Ministry of Tourism can avail the above benefits from April 1, 2021. Also, an expert committee will decide the norms for other establishments over the period of two months.
Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism, said, “There are 110 hotels, ranging between one- to five-stars, classified by the Tourism Ministry. Since classification is not mandatory, many have not applied. To provide benefits to them as well, the committee will suggest norms which will be finalised by the state. Under these norms, they will have to apply online and after a field visit, further decisions will be taken by the state.”
Furthermore, with this status in place, eligible hotels will be charged industrial rates instead of the commercial rates. These include rates for water and power supply, taxes and dues. Apart from this, for additional floor space index (FSI), establishments will be charged at industrial rates.
“With this status, one can easily set up a business here in the state. Hence, we look forward to more global hotels coming to Maharashtra,” Thackeray added.
Subhash Desai, State Industries Minister said that with power tariffs being provided at industrial rates, this will massively boost the sector.
“It is one of the sectors that has suffered a lot due to Covid-19. The potential for job creation is huge in the services sector, particularly in hospitality. We want to revive the sector. All the facilities and incentives applicable to industries will now be applicable to hospitality sector as well,” said Desai.
Desai also mentioned that the government hopes that the benefits received by the sector will be passed on to customers. This in turn would attract more tourists.
Riyaaz Amlani, CEO, Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality and member of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), said that the sector will receive a much needed recovery.
“It is definitely a momentous decision for the hotel industry. We have been fighting for this for over 25 years. Hat’s off to the Maharashtra government. First, they reduced the number of licenses and now gave industry status to hotels. As of now, restaurants are excluded from it. But we are hopeful that they will also be included soon,” Amlani said.