HRAWI Raises Concerns Over Pune CP’s Stringent Regulations Impacting Hospitality Industry; Urges CM & DCM To Intervene

Denounces The Order As Arbitrary, A Reinstatement Of Police Raj & As Against The Very Grain Of EoDB

Feb 29, 2024 - 20:39
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HRAWI Raises Concerns Over Pune CP’s Stringent Regulations Impacting Hospitality Industry; Urges CM & DCM To Intervene
HRAWI Raises Concerns Over Pune CP’s Stringent Regulations Impacting Hospitality Industry; Urges CM & DCM To Intervene

Pune, Feb 29: The Hotel And Restaurant Association (Western India) – HRAWI has submitted an appeal to the Hon’ble Chief Minister - Shri Eknath Shinde; Dy. Chief Minister – Shri Devendra Fadnavis; Chief Secretary - Dr Nitin Kareer, Tourism Minister – Shri Girish Mahajan and Principal Secretary, Tourism – Ms Jayashree Bhog urging a reassessment of recent regulatory measures that threaten to stifle business growth and hinder the vibrancy of the tourism and hospitality sector in Pune.In the representation addressed to the CM, HRAWI has highlighted concerns regarding a recent order u/s 144 issued by the Pune Police Commissioner, which the Association believes could have far-reaching and detrimental effects on the hospitality industry in the city. A draconian order, aimed at regulating restaurants and entertainment establishments, has raised alarm within the industry due to its perceived overreach and potential to impede the ease of doing business.“This has come as a complete shock to the entire industry. The order issued fails to demonstrate the existence of an emergency situation warranting such drastic measures under Section 144 of the CrPC. The broad scope of the order unfairly targets establishments that have FLIII licenses, without distinguishing between different types of establishments or considering their individual contributions to law and order. It aims to undermine the significant strides achieved by the Government in promoting 'Ease of Doing Business' and seeks to assert control and impose regulations on a crucial segment of the tourism sector - namely, restaurants. This is particularly concerning considering that the Government had previously abolished the Police licensing system for the hospitality industry through its circular dated 19.01.2016. We have requested the CM and Dy. CM to intervene urgently in the interest of preserving the vitality of the hospitality industry and 'Ease of Doing Business' in Pune,” says Mr Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI.Through the representation, HRAWI articulated several key grievances with the order, including its purported encroachment on fundamental rights, disproportionate directives, and lack of demonstrable need for such stringent regulations.“The order mandates establishments to manage guest behaviour, including prohibiting dancing in specific areas. It also expects that patrons who are served liquor do not drive and while restaurants uphold the social responsibility by preventing excessive alcohol consumption and drunk driving, imposing this as a legal requirement is impractical. It shifts the responsibility of law enforcement to establishments by imposing even traffic regulation conditions which are beyond our jurisdiction and capacity. These directives go beyond the intended purpose of maintaining peace and tranquillity. It encroaches upon areas governed by other statutory bodies, leading to confusion and overlapping regulations,” adds Mr Chetan Mehta, Vice President, HRAWI.HRAWI has pointed out that the order encompasses certain specific directives concerning compliance with issues governed by Excise and Prohibition laws, overlapping with existing enforcement mechanisms. Additionally, another directive introduces new regulations regarding artists and performances without legal authority, potentially hindering restaurant amenities and increasing bureaucratic hurdles.“The order's implementation threatens to burden the restaurant industry, impacting tourism and public patronage. Creation of fresh regulations for artists and performances lack legal authority and potentially intensifies bureaucratic oversight. Any imposition of an Inspector Raj could jeopardize industry viability, affecting employment and revenues, including the State’s GDP. The regulatory measures threaten to undermine these contributions and jeopardize the livelihood of almost 10 per cent of the population that is employed by the industry. For a fair and equitable regulatory framework that promotes sustainable growth and preserves the unique charm of Pune's culinary and entertainment landscape, we implore the Government to reconsider these measures and work collaboratively with the industry to develop solutions that uphold both public safety and business viability,” concludes Mr Shetty.About the Hotel And Restaurant Association (Western India) – HRAWIThe Hotel And Restaurant Association (Western India) – HRAWI is a 73 years old Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Western India. Its members include Restaurants and Hotels up to 5-Star Deluxe categories. With membership base spread across Western India, HRAWI covers Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and is considered to be the voice of the Hospitality Industry. The association is part of the national body of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), located in New Delhi, which was originally founded in Mumbai in 1950 by the late Mr J.R.D. Tata.

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