Hotels, Restaurants in South India to Observe Bandh on May 30

Chennai: All the hotels and restaurants in Tamil Nadu would remain closed on May 30 following a dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Hotels Associations in protest against levy of GST ranging from 12 per cent to 28 per cent.

The call for the bandh, to be observed from 6am to 6pm, was given by the Tamil Nadu Hotels and Restaurants Association.

The South India Hotels and Restaurant Association (SIHRA) has expressed its support for the bandh.

Since 2009, the hospitality and hotel industry has been reeling under economic and other conditions. The recent Supreme court order to close down hotels and bars within 500 metres of the National and State highways has crippled the business of hotels, which were located on the arterial roads.

While the industry was trying to come to terms on this issue, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dropped the bomb shell announcing levying of GST from 12 to 28 per cent on restaurants and hotels.

In a statement here, SIHRA, while supporting the bandh, also urged all its members to participate in the bandh.

”Already Hotel Associations of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Pondicherry have extended their support for the bandh,” it added.

Noting that the policy makers have failed to recognise the hospitality industry as one of the largest employment generators and net foreign exchange earners with an expected exponential growth fuelled by the growth of the middle class, SIHRA said that ”it is imperative that we impress the government of our displeasure on these recent developments that are adversely affecting our industry.”

“The ordinary and non-star standalone restaurants and eateries cater to the middle and lower class sections of Society. They constitute a major percentage of this sector. Many States like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry have recognized the significance of this section and have extended concessions as little as two per cent levy under the State VAT Acts,” it said.

“Despite numerous representations, memorandums to the authorities, the Union Government has proposed a levy ranging from five to 18 per cent on different categories of restaurants and a steep levy of 28 per cent GST on hotels with room tariff above Rs 5,000. To protest against this, the hotels and restaurants association have called for a bandh on Tuesday,” it added.