Highway liquor ban: 5,000 people may lose jobs in Chandigarh | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Highway liquor ban: 5,000 people may lose jobs in Chandigarh

With the ban on serving liquor in commercial establishments in the city coming into effect from Saturday in the wake of the Supreme Court order prohibiting sale of liquor near state and national highways, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh has raised a concern over a likely layoff of 5,000 employees and estimated the monthly losses at Rs 150 crore.

punjab Updated: Apr 03, 2017 14:41 IST
Bar attendants whiling away their time at a restaurant as few customers turned up due to the liquor ban in Chandigarh on Saturday evening.
Bar attendants whiling away their time at a restaurant as few customers turned up due to the liquor ban in Chandigarh on Saturday evening.(Anil Dayal/HT Photo)

HT Correspondent

With the ban on serving liquor in commercial establishments in the city coming into effect from Saturday in the wake of the Supreme Court order prohibiting sale of liquor near state and national highways, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh has raised a concern over a likely layoff of 5,000 employees and estimated the monthly losses at Rs 150 crore.

Also, the UT excise department will incur an estimated loss of Rs 10-13 crore in licence fee. The apex court has imposed the ban to curb drink-driving. Most of these establishments are located along the Madhya Marg, designated as a state highway.

“There are outlets which have a monthly sale of Rs 50 lakh and then there are ones with a sale of Rs 5 lakh. The sales will go down by half. Those who invested crores are left with no option.” Arvinder Pal Singh, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association, Chandigarh

Owners of Pashtun Restaurant, Sector 35, Western Court, Sctor 43, and Altius, Industrial Area Phase-2, said they will reduce their staff by half.

“There are outlets which have a monthly sale of ₹50 lakh and then there are smaller ones with a sale of Rs 5 lakh. The sales will go down by half. Those who invested crores are left with no option now,” said Arvinder Pal Singh, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh. Arvinder is the owner of Metro-35 and Metro-43.

The excise department said it will be hard to calculate losses as of now since a number of outlets will relocate to places where the ban will not be effective.

”It will be difficult to zero in on the losses as of now since a number of outlets will relocate to places where the ban will not be effective. The actual loss can be calculated only later.” Ravinder Kaushik, assistant excise and taxation officer, Chandigarh

“The actual loss can be calculated only later,” said Ravinder Kaushik, assistant excise and taxation officer, Chandigarh.

Sandeep Arora of Western Court, Sector 43, said the estimated dip in their sales will be Rs 20-25 lakh a month. He said many of their employees come from neighbouring states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. If they lose job, their families will suffer, he said.

“They have not been able to curb drink-driving and now they are banning liquor. If incidents of snatching do not stop, will they ask women to stop wearing jewellery?” asked MPS Chawla, the owner of Altius Hotel.