Entrepreneurs ask Karnataka to open hotels, malls and tourism destinations

Karnataka tourism

The Karnataka Tourism Society has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa demanding that hotels, restaurants and some tourism destinations be opened immediately.

Society president K Shama Raju told reporters that although the CM was keen to accord permission, a decision will be taken only after consulting the central government. The Society demanded that hotels and restaurants be given permission to serve food in adherence with physical distance norms.

Other demands include an exemption on property tax for April 2020, exemption from paying excise licence fee, and waiver of electricity charges. They also urged the government to give leave travel concession (LTC) to employees of the state government and public sector companies to boost domestic travel. The association also asked the government to provide tourism relief funds along the lines of that given by the Australian government and in Europe.

Meanwhile, the Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI), Karnataka Chapter, also handed a memorandum to CM Yediyurappa on Tuesday, requesting that malls be permitted to operate with precautions in place. SCAI said that malls are an integral part of the organised retail sector, significantly contributing to economic growth and employment generation. They said that comprehensive standard operating procedures had been devised to ensure crowd management is achieved through social distancing.

They assured efficient sanitation and centralised AC maintenance, based on the ISHRAE Covid-19 Guidelines, adding that face mask, temperature screening and Aarogya Setu app usage will be made mandatory for entry to shopping venues. Association representatives said that most malls in Karnataka have a built-up area of over 200 lakh square feet. Malls provide livelihoods to over 1,00,000 citizens through direct and indirect jobs, while additional livelihood for around 10,000 blue-collar workers. In terms of revenue, the state’s shopping centres generate annual consumption turnover to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore.