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Hoteliers seek action soon as liquor ban impacts TN hotel biz by 30%
Even as Kerala and Karnataka have taken steps to renew liquor licenses as per the recent Supreme Court order to boost tourism and hotel industry, the Tamil Nadu government seems to be lagging behind.
It is yet to initiate steps to help the hotel industry in this regard, lament city’s leading hoteliers, who estimate the business losses to the extent of 30 per cent.
The state has not taken any steps to act on the Apex Court judgment to help the hotel industry which has been suffering since April 2017, due to the liquor ban.
The AG or the Attorney General opines that the SC judgement is not clear enough, said an executive member of the SIHRA or the South India Hotels and Restaurants Association, on condition of anonymity.
“As it is hoteliers are suffering due to lack of new investments and projects in TN. This only adds to our woes. No one is contemplating expansion of their hotel project in Chennai,” the member further said, when asked to throw light on the industry’s expansion plans in the city.
The member referred to the judgements dated December 15, 2016, March 31, 2017 and July 11, 2017. Seeking renewal of licences near national and state highways and city corporation and city municipality, the Apex Court had directed by stating that “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well.”
Noting that the SC had clearly directed in its judgement dated December 15, 2016 that the ban was not applicable to establishments situated within the proximity of 500 m from the national and state highways, a government note addressed to the officials of excise department in Karnataka said, “Therefore, necessary action may be taken for renewal of the licences near national highway, state highway, city corporation and city municipal limits.”
A similar note sent by Tom Jose, Additional Chief Secretary, to the Excise Commissioner in Thiruvananthapuram, citing the apex court order, asked for initiating steps to comply with the SC order wherein it had allowed liquor vending outlets in Municipal areas to function.