Hospitality Industry in Andaman & Nicobar Islands Complain Of Higher Electricity Tariffs Despite Relief

New Delhi, June 16: India’s apex Hospitality Association – Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has submitted a representation to the Hon’ble Tourism Minister – Shri Prahlad Singh Patel and to the Hon’ble Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises – Shri Nitin Gadkari highlighting issues faced by its member establishments over higher electricity tariffs in the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The Association has stated that in spite of a favourable order from the Electricity Regulatory Commission, the UT’s electricity department has not been extending the benefit of lower electricity tariff to the MSMEs, especially the hospitality establishments. The FHRAI has requested the Government’s urgent intervention to direct the Andaman & Nicobar Administration to implement the order. It has requested that the electricity bills raised in contravention to order dated 2nd December, 2020 be rectified and revised for enabling units to pay the dues at the earliest.

As per the judgement passed by the Hon’ble Chairperson, Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the State of Goa & Union Territories, Gurugram dated 02.12.2020; all establishments registered as MSME or having Udyam Registration are to be charged electricity at Industrial rates.

“In its tariff order dated 31st May, 2021, the JERC has underscored its order dated 2nd December, 2020 confirming that all establishments registered as MSMEs having Udyam registration shall be charged electricity at Industrial rates. Despite this, electricity bills of such units are still being raised by the electricity department at commercial rates which is a direct contravention of the JERC order. We request the Hon’ble Minister of Tourism and the Hon’ble Minister of MSME to intervene and support the industry during its most trying times,” says Mr Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.

The Hospitality industry’s total revenue in FY 2019-20 stood at Rs.1.82 lakh Cr and as per estimates, in FY 2020-21 approximately 75 per cent of the industry’s revenues got wiped off. This is more than Rs.1.30 lakh Cr revenue hit for the Indian economy. The total loan outstanding to the hospitality industry is over Rs.60,000 Cr today.

“Tourism and hospitality sector in the country is going through a harrowing time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is in dire need of Government’s support in the form of sector specific relief package and waivers, and relaxations of statutory payments. The condition of the industry is all the more serious in regions like the Andaman & Nicobar Islands where tourism is the mainstay of the entire economy. Such apathetic attitude of the authorities makes the situation more severe and complex,” concludes Mr Kohli.

About Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI):

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) is the apex body of the Indian Hospitality industry. Founded in 1955, the FHRAI is the third-largest Hospitality association in the world and has diligently built on its rich legacy. The Association is today privileged to serve as the leading voice of the hotel and restaurant industry and plays a seminal role in supporting the growth trajectory of India’s hospitality and tourism sector. FHRAI provides a vibrant interface between the industry, government, regulatory bodies, academia, international organizations, civil society and the media.

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