NRAI urges members to shut down restaurants till 31 March in view of rising health risks; to seek stakeholders support to mitigate losses

Mumbai: In view of rising health risks following the spread of coronavirus, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Wednesday asked all members to shut down their restaurants till 31 March or till such time when no new cases are reported.

“In view of the serious health risk to employees and patrons in the food service sector amidst ever-worsening situation around COVID-19 in India, we as a responsible industry body, have sent out an advisory to all our members to shut down their restaurant operations from 18 March till 31 March or till such time when there are no new cases reported for a few days,” NRAI said in its advisory.

In India, the number of novel coronavirus cases has risen to 147 on Wednesday, with 10 fresh cases reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry.

 NRAI urges members to shut down restaurants till 31 March in view of rising health risks; to seek stakeholders support to mitigate losses

Representational image. Reuters.

The advisory further stated that NRAI has been closely following the coronavirus outbreak in the country and finds an unprecedented situation where it is compelled to make some difficult decisions, which will have massive financial implications on businesses.

"However, NRAI is doing this in the larger benefit for our teams, our guests and our communities," it added.

“We can't forget that most of our employees use public transport to commute and they run a huge risk of getting infected and further becoming carriers of the virus," the association said.

"Hence, in order to avoid any such risk, we advise all our members to shut down their operations and help curtail the spread of the deadly virus. We are also trying our best to ensure the well-being of our employees while they remain confined to their homes,” it said.

NRAI said the industry body will work with all its stakeholders in the ecosystem; from landlords to various departments of the government, banks and financial institutions and seek their support in mitigating losses as far as possible.

“This is an extraordinary situation and beyond our control and we expect support such as converting fixed rentals to variable revenue share, allowing input tax credit on GST, moratorium on loan repayment, waiver of interest, reduction on energy costs, deferred payment of license fee and taxes will go a long way in curtailing our astronomical losses,” NRAI added.

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Updated Date: Mar 18, 2020 19:28:26 IST