India’s hotel industry may have to wait for a long time to return to normalcy as the government does not intend to fully open the roads for the hospitality sector until the coronavirus pandemic is contained. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal today said that until the coronavirus vaccine is invented, the government cannot take the risk and the balancing act has to be in place. Inviting suggestions over how the government can bring changes for the hospitality sector in Unlock-3 phase, Piyush Goyal added that the government will help the industry but only if they give recommendations considering the coronavirus and the centre’s aim for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
Slamming the industry for its bad practices in a webinar hosted by the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India, the Commerce Minister also said that the hotel industry should also look within and identify their wrongdoings. Among others, he highlighted that the hotel industry deducts 10 per cent value of the foreign currency when the foreign customers try to use their currency in the hotels.
On the recommendations to give the government’s relief for 5-star hotels, the minister said that it is counter-productive if even the 5-star hotels cannot stand on their own feet. Calling the online simplified facilities more beneficial than various government schemes, he insisted that the industry should aim for measures that would invite less intervention of the government.
Watch: News with Financial Express July 13, 2020
Piyush Goyal further said that the industry should not lose confidence and find a way out of the ongoing crisis while assuring that he would discuss the financial relief for the industry with the Finance Ministry. Meanwhile, the subsequent 2-3 quarters are going to be a defining period for the participants in the hospitality sector. If green shoots do not emerge by Q1 FY2022, asset-heavy and leveraged entities might find it difficult to sustain themselves, Care Ratings said in a recent report. On the other hand, experienced players with strong and resourceful parentage or asset-light companies with low leverage would be better positioned to tide over the crisis, it added.