Gurugram admin allows some hotels to serve alcohol to guests in room
The Haryana excise and taxation department has given its nod for serving liquor in star-rated hotels in the city starting Thursday, officials said. The decision was taken by the department after receiving a representation from the hotel owners’ associations, asking for permission to serve alcohol in rooms at least.
The excise officials said the permission has been granted only for three-star, four-star and five star hotels. Restaurants, pubs, and bars will continue to be prohibited from serving liquor for now.
The officials said that they received requests from eight hotels so far and they have granted permission to all of them.Though, all star hotels would be allowed to serve liquor in rooms, they will need to apply for permissions individually.
HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (West), said that the permissions were granted to those who have paid the liquor licence fees for the quarter. “The hospitality sector has faced a disastrous situation with revenues plunging amid the Covid-19 outbreak. To revive the economic situation, the government has taken a step to support the liquor industry as it has been one of the biggest revenue-generating sectors,” he said.
Officials said the hotel association of Gurugram had written to the department in June requesting them to waive their liquor license fees as they have been shut since March 25, when a lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 was first put in place.
Aruna Singh, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (East), said that they had already waived one-third of licence fees, bringing it down to Rs 2 lakh, to support the hoteliers. “The hotels were also not allowed to serve or store liquor in rooms for guests so far. We had issued strict directions not to keep liquor in the room fridges also. Most of the hotels have stayed shut except for those listed under quarantine facility,” she said.
The officials said there are 21 hotels across the city which are classified under star category. There are nine 5 star hotels, seven four star hotels and five 3 star hotels, which can soon resume serving liquor to guests.
Restaurants were given permission to resume their operations at 50% capacity from June 8. Bars, however, remained shut.
Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, said that the hotels have now been given permission to start taking bookings and to start their operations. The bars in such hotels will stay shut while the restaurants will need to adhere to the standard operating procedures regarding the preventive measures that have already been put in place. “Anyone found violating the guidelines will be dealt with strictly,” he said.
Rohit Mann, director of Clarens Hotel in Sector 29, said that the business will pick up now as people would prefer to come to establishments that serve liquor to them. “The industry has suffered huge losses and this will start helping us recover some losses. Though, it will take at least three more months to get back to normal. People have started making online booking and we are getting at least 10 bookings a day from locals,” he said