With the Maharashtra government imposing strictin the state owing to rising Covid-19 cases, there are fears over its crippling effects on the economy.
Traders and hotel owners have said they back the state’s decision but will not be able to take on the losses brought on by the restrictions.
As part of its ‘Break the chain’ endeavour, the state government has directed all shops (barring essential services), private offices, theatres, halls, multiplexes, restaurants, hotels and gyms among other establishments to remain closed till April 30.
Given an almost full month of no business even as operations had just about begun to go back to their pre-Covid times, the hospitality industry is unhappy.
“We are with the government. We will once again support it like we did last year. But, there will be no hospitality industry if the government does not reciprocate. We are doomed this time around if we are expected to be both, shut for business and not receive any relief. The government has to meet us somewhere in between. Shut us but do justice to the owners, staff and their families. Take care of the salaries. Unburden the owners of the property tax, waive off the statutory fees, don’t generate electricity and water bills until the industry becomes completely operational again. We understand that the government has to take measures but it’s coming at a cost that we just can’t bear any more. We have always stood with the government and it’s about time the government does the same for us,” said Pradeep Shetty, Sr Vice President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).
The Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) also strongly condemned the decision. “Who will pay staff the salaries? The rent and taxes of the shop? The government should answer the traders, restaurants, mall owners and all other stake holders,” read a statement by the body.