Industry Voice: Hospitality sector raises concern on fixed electricity charges
Will the state government’s move, allowing for deferment of fixed electricity charges for a period of six months, help the hospitality industry? The sector had asked for a waiver of fixed charges, but that demand was not met. Tourismnewslive.com quizzed a number of leading industry players about this, seeking their comments. Over to their views.
Chacko Paul – Managing Director -The Travancore Heritage Chowara & Lepondy, Pondicherry
Hospitality industry is one of the highest tax generating as well as the biggest provider of jobs. But it is also the worst affected sector due to this Covid-19 pandemic.
In this present scenario as the income for the sector is almost nil, it would be a great help if the government waives off the fixed electricity charges and instead charge on an actual basis. The government can also extend a helping hand by contributing at least 50 % of the salary of employees working in this sector. It can also put on hold the license and excise fees as well as property taxes till a revival occurs.
Unnikrishnann V Menon – GM – VIVIN Luxury Suites
The period after the lock down gets lifted will be very crucial. Survival of hotels will be quite unpredictable at that stage. During that period, it will be very helpful for the hoteliers if the govt decides to waive off the fixed electricity charges, which is given a deferment for six months.
Rupert Evers & Olga Ostapenko – Marari Villas, Alleppey
Small businesses, in particular, are concerned that they will also miss out on proposals for staff salary support if it is arranged through EPF or ESI channels as many small businesses with less than 20 employees would not be eligible. We humbly request that the government to ensure any salary, electricity tariff support is accessible to ALL hospitality businesses, regardless of size.
S K Sinha – Hotel Manager – Hycinth Hotels, Trivandrum
I believe any relaxation in terms of finance would help organisations. But it will be great if fixed electricity charges get waived-off. Considering the fact that the hospitality industry has been hit badly by COVID-19, it will take almost a year to recover. This consideration will help an organisation to plan better for the new normal.
Vinay Nair – COO – Dimora Hotels and Resorts
Deferment of the fixed charges would definitely give a breather to the industries; however, an ideal scenario is a waiver on the fixed charges until this situation normalizes.
The current situation warrants that all expenses be curtailed, however the last one to be curtailed would be salaries as the workers would need the cash flow to run their homes as they depend solely on this income. While the businesses are currently shut without any sort of revenue being generated, the only possibility of paying out the salaries is by saving the expense to the maximum. The waiver or deferment of the fixed charges will allow for that extra cushion and that fund could be used to clear workers’ salaries and other critical expenses.
Kanchana Patrick – –Manager Operations – Maurya Rajadhani
Hospitality industry is affected badly by the COVID 19 pandemic, and the entrepreneurs and the employees in the sector are facing the crisis which may extend for another few months. All of us are looking towards the survival of hotels and trying to meet expenses like staff salary, electricity bill, water bill , tax payable etc. It’s a difficult situation to handle without any income and business.
Everyone has put in requests for the waiver of fixed charges for electricity and Government of Kerala has decided to defer the payment of fixed charges for electricity for 6 months and Hon CM has announced it already. Hon Minister of Tourism had held a discussion with Chairman of KSEB on the matter. .
The recovery of the hotels and resorts in the tourism industry will be delayed as it will take time for tourists to start traveling again. As a major economic support of Kerala, the hospitality sector is providing employment to around 1.5 million people in Kerala. Hence it is essential that we recover at the earliest.
The Government being aware of this and considering the proposals already forwarded by Department of Tourism, Kerala Travel Mart and various tourism related organizations, we are expecting all possible support from the concern departments.
As a hotelier I strongly request the concern department to waive off the electricity charges till the situation gets better.
Ram Nidhi Wasan – Founder – Mekosha Ayurveda Spasuites Retreat,Trivandrum
Mankind has not seen an event of this nature and magnitude ever before. COVID 19 is likely to change the consumer behaviour like never before. Tourism industry is facing an impending disaster and may take minimum 12-18 months to recover from this shock. All stakeholders need to work together quickly to prepare for the immediate survival goals and then focus on measures to aid recovery. State government should waive off the demand charges for minimum period of 6 months. Staff salary subsidy, relaxation in electricity tariff are also required. Small establishments are closed and don’t have the financial backbone to pay the salaries beyond a certain time period.
Ratheesh Kumar – GM – Amara Ayurveda Retreat
Since the industry is facing a very bad situation, the government has taken action to help the industry by offering moratorium on bank loans and deferment of fixed electricity charges etc. It will take one to two years to recover from the current scenario in the hospitality industry. So, the government action on the fixed electricity charges is not enough, we request waiver of the charges for one year.