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Restaurant associations urge Maha govt, BMC to allow Mumbai re-opening as per guideline



Maharashtra government is planning to meet district administrations to discuss relaxations for restaurants and shops, sources say. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Anurag Katriar, president of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), and Anjan Chatterjee, CMD of Speciality Restaurants, spoke at length about the relaxation norms.

First up, Katriar said that Mumbai already qualifies to be in level one, as per rules. He has also asked the government to give Mumbai level two relaxations.

“We have made representations to the honourable chief minister. We did not have a meeting with him. If you look at the guidelines set by the Maharashtra government, Mumbai already qualifies to be on level one, which essentially means unrestricted operations. The parameters were very clear, if the test positivity rate (TPR) is under 5 percent and oxygen bed occupancy is under 25 percent, then the city qualifies to be at level one. However, we continue to be in level three, which essentially means, you can only operate on weekdays up to 4 pm,” said Katriar.

“Therefore, what we are hoping is that we may not get to level one, but at least level two will be allowed to the restaurants in Maharashtra, whereby we will be able to operate up to 10 pm with 50 percent capacity on all days of the week. We won’t be profitable at 50% utilisation, but will bleed less,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chatterjee said that a decent recovery is seen on unlocking, but demand recovery is not as fast as it was in last year. “Branches have started operating and it’s encouraging. There has been a good flow coming in; it’s not as good as the last time, but it will take a while. We have vaccinated our people, almost 68 percent of the staff has been vaccinated all over India,” he said.

“Maharashtra constitutes a big chunk of our business, it needs to support us. I am sure there is an issue with the government’s decision making. On June 27, there is going to be a review. NRAI has already made a representation, and we are hopeful that they will allow the opening and give us the benefit,” Chatterjee said.

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