Hospitality industry pleads for immediate extension of moratorium by 3 months

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has made written representations to the Hon. Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, the Hon. Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur and to the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das, I.A.S. requesting for an extension of moratorium for additional three months. The hotel industry has made no progress in terms of bookings even after several states unlocked and where hotels resumed operations. The industry has registered average occupancy levels at 10 to 20 per cent. With rental and salary bills, statutory payments and other establishment costs, hotels are finding it unviable to carry on running businesses. FHRAI has informed the Ministry that an extension of moratorium at this time could help hotels restructure existing loans since the process of restructuring is time consuming.

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President of FHRAI and President of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), says, “For more than four months, hotels and restaurants have remained shut and have earned no revenue throughout the lockdown. There is no improvement in forward bookings and wherever hotels and restaurants have opened, the footfalls are negligible. In addition to the monthly outgoings and the statutory levies, we now have to spend more on employing hygiene and safety measures to follow the SOPs and guidelines issued by the Central and State governments. On account of all this, the debt restructuring plan announced by the RBI for the stressed MSMEs is not going to help the sector. Therefore we have urged that the moratorium be extended by a further three months.”

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