Home Dehradun Hoteliers unhappy with new Excise Policy

Hoteliers unhappy with new Excise Policy

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 22 Feb: A large number of hoteliers and bar owners in Uttarakhand have expressed serious reservations and unhappiness over certain provisions of the newly drafted excise policy by the Uttarakhand Government.

They claim that the new policy will not only hit the hoteliers and bars in the state financially but also affect tourism in the state, particularly in the Dehradun and Nainital districts, which attract the maximum number of tourists on an annual basis.

The hoteliers and bar owners have particularly objected to a sharp rise in bar licence fee for bars and various categories of hotels in Dehradun and Nainital districts.

It may be recalled that, under the new policy, bar licence fee for hotels having more than 50 rooms has been increased to Rs 10 lakhs per annum from Rs 5 lakhs per annum, at present. In the previous policy, the licence fee for hotels with more than 20 rooms was Rs 5 lakhs per annum. Similarly, the licence fee for hotels having more than 20 rooms but up to 50 rooms has been increased to Rs 6 lakhs for Dehradun and Nainital districts. The licence fee for 5 star hotels in Dehradun and Nainital districts has been increased to Rs 10 lakhs per annum, whereas the fee for 4 star hotels in these two districts has been increased to Rs 8 lakhs. For 3 star hotels, the fee has been increased to Rs 6 lakhs per annum. The hoteliers say that this is a drastic hike over the fee payable by the hoteliers till now and will drastically hit their business.

The hoteliers have also raised objection to the government’s decision to start a new renewal process for all old bars and restaurants having bar licences operating since before 2019. They termed the renewal process as an anti-business and anti- tourism move by the government.

The President of Hotels and Restaurants Association of Uttaranchal, Sandeep Sahni, a resident of Mussoorie, has written a letter to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in this regard, urging him to reconsider the sharp hike in the licence fee in the greater interest of the hospitality and tourism sector. Sahni has claimed that this sharp hike will lead to closure of a large number of bars in the hotels and restaurants in Dehradun and Nainital and will lead to wide scale loss of jobs.