MUMBAI: In a major decision, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday allowed 4 lakh restaurant, bar and eatery outlets in the state to start their operations from the first week of October, just ahead of Navaratri starting October 17. The decision came after a meeting between industry organisations and the CM.
The decision will thus bring curtains on the major section of lockdown — the hospitality industry — which was struggling to get back to normal since unlocking has begun in phases. As around 40% of them are surviving on home deliveries, the majority of employees in these establishments have gone back to native places and have refused to return till a vaccine arrives.
However all 4 lakh restaurants, bars and eateries in the state including majority in Mumbai metropolitan region(around 1 lakh) have resolved to restart at 50% capacity in order to obey the government norms for social distancing.
The decision will benefit 60 lakh direct employees and 1.8 crore indirect employees who are into cultivation and supply of agro, dairy, hatcheries and all other commodities that are consumed in large numbers at these establishments.
Industry leaders — HRAWI and AHAR — have welcomed the decision which they said will help them to regenerate the employment that was stagnant since the last seven months of lockdown.
They said it will help generate revenue for the government. The industry generates around Rs 18,000 crore revenue with majority in the form of excise and other local body licenses and fees. Other than social distancing, use of sanitisers, masks will be mandatory.