Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association urges Maharashtra government to ease restrictions

MUMBAI: The Association of Hotels and Restaurants of India (AHAR) has urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to extend the easing of lockdown restrictions – allowing shops and establishments to operate until late in the evening in 25 districts in the state including Mumbai – to restaurants – also non-industrial.

AHAR Chairman Shivanand Shetty said around 35 lakh people working in the restaurant industry have been laid off due to restaurant closures.

“It has not only affected them financially, but their mental health has also been seriously affected, which has forced some to take drastic measures by committing suicide,” Shetty said, adding that 90 to 95% of the workforce restaurant work had been vaccinated.

The Maharashtra government has said it is cautious about easing restrictions and will discuss with the restaurant industry demand task force on August 10.

Malls in the state also remained closed while restaurants are not allowed to operate until late in the evening.

Earlier this week, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) wrote to the state government to allow shopping malls to start operations.

“All other states in the country except Maharashtra have allowed the opening of malls as well as other retail formats. Malls in Maharashtra have continuously given assurances of compliance with the required SOPs and structured processes to ensure social distancing and safety for shoppers,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India (RAI).

Allowing malls to resume operations will pave the way for citizens to shop in a safe and sanitized environment and will also save thousands of dollars in livelihoods supported by the mall’s ecosystem, he added.

To subscribe to Mint Bulletins

* Enter a valid email address

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our app now!!

Christina A. Kroll