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Now, 20 licences eased out, relief for Mumbai hotels and bars

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MUMBAI: Ringing in cheer for hotels, restaurants and bars, the state government has discontinued renewal of 20 licences with immediate effect. While 10 licences have been done away with, 10 others have either been merged with other permissions or have been brought under self-certification or one-time NOC process.

The initiative has been taken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on the recommendations of the state government under its ease-of-doing-business initiative. BMC deals with most of the 26 permissions that hospitality establishments require.

In case of three other licences, the issuing authorities have been changed, while three more permissions have been retained.

Most of these permissions and licences need to be procured from the BMC’s health, pest control, fire, environment, and building & factory departments.

Hotel and restaurant associations said the move would not spell financial benefit as they ended up paying nearly Rs 9 lakh per year for various licences, but it was a huge relief administratively as it would curb red tapism, extortion and high-handedness by the local staff.

Welcoming the move, Adarsh Shetty, president of Ahar, an association of over 8,000 restaurants and bars in the city, “The move was cleared last year by which time many of us had already procured licences for this year. However, it’ll bring us relief in 2018. We are looking forward to proper implementation of the new licence regime,” he said.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) spokesperson Pradip Shetty termed the move promising and in the right direction. “Most of these licences had lost relevance. We hope the government will also change some archaic laws to make them relevant. We look forward to efficiency and transparency through a single-window system as promised by the government, and also hope our demand for creation of 24-hour tourism zones is fulfilled,” he added.

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