The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO), a body of private hotels, has sent a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over seeking help in financial crisis faced by the hoteliers in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. “We have taken loans from banks. In the current situation, it seems difficult for us to pay interests and EMIs. The Odisha government should advise the banks to cooperate with us and defer payment of EMIs and interests till the situation normalises,” HRAO Chairman J K Mohanty said.
Mohanty also informed said bookings for conferences, banquets and marriages have been cancelled in most of the hotels. The HRAO also requested the government to waive state GST till normalcy is restored.
“The Odisha government should also try and convince the Centre for a similar step. There should be complete GST holiday for the tourism, travel and hospitality industry for the next 12 months,” the association demanded.
The HRAO also sought fee-waivers for the upcoming renewal of licenses and permits (such as BMC Holding Tax, Ground Water Fee, Electricity Fee) for the hospitality and travel industry till the situation turns normal and conducive to tourism.
“There should be an immediate sanction of funds to reimburse PF, ESIC, professional tax and salaries of employees in the industry,” the HRAO added.