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Hoteliers begin to cut support staff due to loss of revenue

PUNE Hoteliers in the city are contemplating axing 10 per cent of support staff, following the loss of business due to the new curfew restrictions
By Nadeem Inamdar
PUBLISHED ON APR 01, 2021 07:19 PM IST

PUNE Hoteliers in the city are contemplating axing 10 per cent of support staff, following the loss of business due to the new curfew restrictions. All hotels, bars and restaurants currently close at 8pm.

Already, notices have been given to support staff, especially helpers, that their services will no longer be required.

Maaaz Shaikh, owner of hotel Mughlai in Undri, said, “I have given an intimation to my waiters that they will have to look for options as business has gone down by 90 per cent. How do I pay them?”

Haris Meethal, owner of the Agra hotel in Camp said, “Business is next to nil and there is no money to pay rent, so the only option is to remove employees as we have no money to pay them.”

Hoteliers claim that the state government’s decision to implement a curfew from 8 pm to 7 am till April 15 is causing severe losses to business.

Ikram Khan, who runs Sohos in Kalyaninagar, said, “The Covid-19 lockdown ruined the industry and broke its back. The excise department must partner with the industry as it brings in revenue for the government.”

Ganesh Shetty, president, Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association, said, “The government order states that the hotels and business establishments must be closed after 8 pm. This is resulting in huge losses. Citizens are freely moving on the roads while the hotels are closed. The government must carry out limited restrictions from 3 pm till 5 pm and instead give us permission to operate till 11am. Eighty per cent of business starts late in the evening. The current restrictions will cause huge losses and jobs cuts as we don’t have money to pay for salaries, rents, loans and other expenses which require heavy investment. Moreover, the government has not released any funds for revival of the industry.”

Shetty pointed out that several hoteliers had put their staff on notice saying that in case of further lockdown or restrictions, they might lose their jobs.

According to PRAHA, 8,500 restaurants which shut down had sustained huge economic losses and the total lockdown losses have been pegged at around 300 crore, with more 0.2 million hotel staffers losing their jobs.

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