Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) president Bharat Malkani on Thursday said foreign tourist inflow into India will get hit if alcohol prohibition is imposed in the country, adding prohibition worldwide is a failed policy and liquor abuses can be controlled by education.
Malkani was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day annual FHRAI convention in the city.
The New Delhi-headquartered FHRAI, founded in Mumbai in 1955 by late JRD Tata, is organizing its national convention in the state for the first time.
Recently Bihar imposed prohibition and chief minister Nitish Kumar also launched an anti-liquor campaign in Madhya Pradesh. Kerala has also put severe restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
Speaking on ‘Brand India’, the theme of the convention, the FHRAI president said India presents the most incredible investment opportunity for the future as the culture of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ comes naturally to Indians.
Addressing the session, state cooperatives minister (independent charge) Vishwas Sarang advocated for reduction in taxes for the hospitality sector saying it would benefit the consumers.
Pointing out that there were a few good hotels in Bhopal, Sarang invited hoteliers to invest in the state by opening new hotels and said that MP was growing at a fast pace and had one of the best investment climates in the country.
Mayor Malini Gaud invited hoteliers to attend the global investors meet scheduled in October. Chief Minister
Shivraj Singh Chouhan could not attend the event as he was of the state.
Citing 6-8% goods and services tax (GST) rate in the neighbouring countries suck as Sri Lanka, FHRAI honorary secretary Vivek Nair said the GST rate for the hospitality sector should be low as it will boost growth of the industry and also enhance government’s revenue.
In addition, the convention will also host an exhibition featuring latest products and technologies in the hospitality sector along with a series of business sessions on varied subjects.
It will conclude on September 24 with a grand awards ceremony. Sumit Suri, president of Hotels and Restaurants Association of Western India, was also present during the inaugural session.