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Restaurant association writes to FM for help; says fighting for basic survival

24/03/2020

National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), has written to the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting financial help from the government for the restaurant industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has badly hit the foodservice players in the country. The association has demanded some pay cover marginal employees working in this sector, deferment of all statutory dues at the central and state level, restoration of the input tax credit on GST and moratorium on bank loans.

“The Union and the State Governments are two of the most important stakeholders and we are pinning lots of hope on them to bail us out of this unprecedented crisis. Some of our salient demands is some pay cover for the marginal employees in the sector, deferment of all statutory dues at the central and state level, a moratorium on bank loans, restoration of input tax credit on GST for the sector and a general invocation of force majeure clause in view of this global Pandemic,” said Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI and CEO & Executive Director of deGustibus Hospitality.

According to Katriar, the restaurant industry with an annual turnover of approximately Rs 4 lac crore providing direct employment to over 7 million Indians is in a very precarious situation currently, fighting a grim battle for its basic survival. “In these times of unprecedented crisis, the fate of 7.30 million employees in the F&B sector is our biggest concern. We don’t want them to suffer but unfortunately, we don’t have adequate resources to support them for long,” said Katriar.

Foodservice industry operates with a very high proportion of fixed operating expenses which makes our business very high-risk even in case of moderate revenue fluctuations.

“Now we are staring at almost zero revenue in the immediate term and at least drop 50% for months thereafter. We are therefore seeking support from everyone in the ecosystem in mitigating these fixed operating costs so that our losses are contained to manageable levels,” the executive further said.

A few days back Retailers Association of India (RAI) had asked various government bodies like the PMO, DPIIT, and Finance Ministry, to help the retail industry cope with the detrimental effects on business in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. The association had asked the government to allow retailers 90 days of grace period for depositing all statutory dues, like Income Tax, Advance Tax, GST, ESIC, PF, etc. for payments falling due between March 1 and June 30, 2020.

RAI is also seeking a 3-month (April 20 to June 20) job support subsidy at 50% of the minimum wages as cash support to encourage retailers to continue the employment of staff during the extended lockdown and recovery period after lifting of lockdown.

Source:- Economic Times

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