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News

Restaurants’ body seeks single-window licensing system in state

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Kolkata: National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has urged for a single-window system for all food and beverage outlets in the state as it feels that there are multiple departments responsible for providing licences and renewals. This was disclosed in the India Food Services Report 2019 for Kolkata, which was unveiled by state home and industry secretary Alpan Bandopadhyay during the launch of NRAI Kolkata chapter in the city on Tuesday.
“The single window system should be online, simple, transparent, time-bound with deemed approvals for both new licences and renewals,” the report said.

Besides single window, NRAI has also recommended same excise rule for five-star hotels and normal restaurants for serving liquors. NRAI also feels that label registration fee for new brands and sharp increase in duties in beer, too, should be brought down.

The state finance and industries minister, Amit Mitra, who was supposed to inaugurate the programme but could not attend due to health issues said in a message that there is a huge scope in Kolkata for the growth of non-home-cooked food and food services market. “NRAI Kolkata chapter could work with various organisation and foundations to generate and create employment with focus on growth & development in tier II and III townships. It should also set up training infrastructure,” he added.

Sagar Daryani, chapter head of NRAI, Kolkata and CEO of Wow!Momo, pointed out the main idea behind the platform is to bring together the industry under one platform in order to coordinate ground work and action pertaining to government issues, regulations and representations.

“This will help in getting the large unorganised sector into the organised fold — thereby improving food safety, hygiene and government revenues. Growth of the industry will also significantly boost job creation in the state. This is the only industry that offers multiple opportunities for various job roles/levels with varying education and skill levels,” Daryani added.

As per the report, the city’s food services industry is worth Rs 5,049 crore and it employs 65,000 people in Kolkata alone. The city’s organised food chain market is estimated at Rs 1,979 crore, while standalone restaurants’ market is worth Rs 3,070 crore. The city ranks 7th in terms of restaurants’ market size in the country. The all-India market for organised food services is estimated at Rs 1.48 lakh crore and could go to Rs 2.57 lakh crore by 2022-23 as per the report.

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