MUMBAI: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (AHAR) urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to extend the easing of lockdown restrictions – allowing shops and establishments to operate until late into the evening in 25 districts of the state, including Mumbai – to the catering-off industry too.
AHAR chairman Shivanand Shetty said around 35 lakhs of people working in the restaurant industry have been made redundant due to restaurant closings.
“It not only affected them financially, but their mental health was also severely affected, forcing some to take drastic measures to kill themselves,” Shetty said, adding that 90 to 95 percent of restaurant staff had been vaccinated.
The Maharashtra government has said it is cautious about easing restrictions and will discuss the restaurant industry demand task force on August 10.
State shopping malls have also remained closed while restaurants are only allowed to operate late into the evening.
Earlier this week, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) wrote to the state government to allow shopping centers to start operations.
“Every other state in the country except Maharashtra has allowed shopping malls and other retail formats to be opened. Maharashtra shopping malls have continuously ensured adherence to the SOPs and structured processes required to ensure social distancing and the safety of shoppers, ”said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India (RAI).
Allowing shopping centers to resume operations will pave the way for citizens to shop in a safe and sanitized environment and also save thousands of livelihoods that the shopping center ecosystem supports, he added.
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