No Room Key! Delhi Hotels Going Broke
Mail Today|August 05, 2020
With shutters down for 4 months, reopening caught in political wrangle & no tax waiver from govt, hoteliers stare at a meltdown
Ajay Kumar

The Capital’s hospitality industry is staring at an uncertain future with hotels continuing to remain closed for more than four months in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Adding insult to injury are unsympathetic landlords, a labour crisis and licence-related issues.

Hotels in other parts of the country have already begun reopening as lockdown restrictions are being gradually relaxed, but ironically, this hasn’t happened in Delhi.

STANDOFF 3.0

Last week, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that hotels and weekly markets will be allowed to resume functioning from August 1 as part of Unlock 3 – bringing a sigh of relief to hoteliers who say as many as 4,00,000 families have been directly or indirectly affected with the closure of hotels in the Capital.

“Since hotels in Delhi are no longer linked to hospitals, the Delhi government has decided to allow normal functioning of hotels and hospitality services, as already permitted under Centre’s Unlock guidelines,” the AAP government had said in a statement.

Within 24 hours, Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal overturned the decision, saying that while there was improvement, the pandemic situation in Delhi “remained fragile and the threat was still far from over”. This led to yet another stand-off, a third during the pandemic, between the elected AAP government and the office of the L-G.

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