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NEW DELHI: The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association has written to the Maharashtra government and has met NCP chief Sharad Pawar seeking support for the struggling industry, following fresh curbs amid the third covid wave in the country.

In a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, AHAR has urged for extension in timings for dine-in services in restaurants and bars to midnight from the current 10pm.

It has also sought specific guidelines and clarity  regarding food delivery services round the clock.

In another letter to deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, it has sought a reduction in FL III licence fee to 50% to compensate for the loss of regular business. The licence is for sale of imported foreign liquors and Indian made foreign liquors on which excise duty has been paid at special rates.

Shivanand Shetty, president, AHAR, said, “Disruptions witnessed for the past two years have thrown the industry into dire straits forcing many businesses to shut. We have sought extension of dine-in services till midnight along with a request for 50% reduction of the liquor license fee for the year 2022-23. This waiver will help in generating revenue for the state government and also help re-open establishments..."

According to research company Mordor Intelligence, India’s hotel industry is among the worst hit by the pandemic, having contracted 47% in April-June 2020. In May 2020, the industry saw occupancy slump 77% on year. The domestic hospitality industry is likely to witness a decline of over 65% in 2021.

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