State forms committee to look into hoteliers' grievances

Joint committee under Chief Secretary to discuss ways to tackle hotels and restaurants association’s demands for single window clearance for licences and one reporting authority

Hoteliers and restaurateurs reeling under multiple surprise checks from the city police, municipal authorities and the state department over the years, finally have a reason to cheer. The state government has agreed to set up a joint committee to look into their demands of a single-window clearance for all licences and a single body to report to instead of being answerable to multiple authorities. The joint committee will be chaired by State Chief Secretary Jayant Banthia.

The decision comes two months after hoteliers approached Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan complaining that they had to apply to half-a-dozen different departments for licences and constantly face surprise checks from various authorities. According to sources, the CM had then asked the Chief Secretary to look in to the matter. The joint committee that has now been formed have representatives from the BMC, the city police and other relevant departments, working together.

 “We have formed an internal committee. Before meeting members of the Association of Hotels & Restaurants (AHAR), we want to discuss among ourselves how to solve their grievances. In the last meeting, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has offered to help us,” said Banthia.

When contacted, chairman of AHAR, Niranjan Shetty, said, “We will be more than happy to be a part of this joint committee. As of now, we have not been informed about this move.”

Speaking to Sunday Mid Day, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special), Rajendra Bhosale said, “We will soon come to a solution and solve their grievances. Of course, things are at an initial stage now.”

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