City hoteliers are busy studying the closing times of bars and pubs across the nation in the hopes of seeing a relaxation of the current permissible hours.
During a recent meeting with city hoteliers, minister of state Satej Patil asked them to prepare a report of closing timing of bars and restaurants in other cities.
He also sought information about punishments and action taken by police in cases of establishments operating beyond permissible hours in the city.
This was after a high-end pub in Colaba was fined for operating beyond the 1.30 am deadline recently.
“The minister of state has been asked by the chief minister to come up with a proposal for relaxation of closing times for bars and restaurants and a meeting will be held shortly. Patil wants to know the closing time in other cities, and the type of action taken by police in case of breach of closing time. Hence, the hoteliers are busy collecting data,” said a hotel owner.
Hoteliers have demanded the deadline to be extended to 3 am for all discos, bars and restaurants on payment of a fee. “Archaic rules under the Bombay Police Act need to be revised,” he added
The Hotel and Restaurant Association-Western India (HRA-WI) has also hired an agency to make a comparative study of the states that charge entertainment tax on live music, and how much is charged.
“The system of charging Rs 1 lakh for any establishment that serves liquor and plays music is unfair. The previous system of charging entertainment tax if the establishment charged an entry fee, is desirable. Hence, we will soon be giving an entire report on the same. We will only be able to share the findings when the survey is done,” said Kamlesh Barot, former president HRA-WI.
When asked if associations have demanded an extension in the time limit for operating restaurants and bars, Barot said, “Every now and then, we have been pushing for these demands as a city like Mumbai needs a zone that operates till late. We will be meeting the home minister to consider our request.”