Chandigarh, September 30: Agreeing with the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM), the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday gave nod to the waiver of annual licence fee of the Bars, Marriage Palaces, Hotels and Restaurants for the years 2020-21 proportionately for the months of April to September, 2020 besides waiving the quarterly assessed fee for the first two quarters i.e. from April to June and July to September, 2020.

Disclosing this, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the financial implications after 50 percent waiver of annual licence fees pertaining to the period from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 would be to the tune of Rs. 1355.50 lakhs in respect of the 1065 licensee Bars in Hotels and Restaurants which is half the estimated revenue collection for 2020-2021. Likewise, in respect of the total 2324 licensee marriage palaces corresponding to the aforementioned period, the financial implications would amount to Rs. 350 lakhs which would also be half of the estimated revenue collection for 2020-2021. In respect of waiving advance quarterly assessed fee on bars licences, no implications of financial nature are involved as the waiver would only be on assessed fee collected in advance which is adjustable and now the collection is being proposed to be deferred to the point of purchase by bars.

It may be recalled that the Hotel & Restaurant Association of Punjab, Hotel Restaurant & Resort Association, Punjab and the Marriage Palace Association, Punjab in their representation to the GoM, sought relaxation in the licence fee and the quarterly assessed fee due to the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic and subsequent imposition of curfew and lockdown which severely affected their business. The matter was then discussed with the Excise Commissioner Rajat Agarwal and Financial Commissioner (Taxation) A. Venu Prasad and subsequently referred to the Chief Minister for approval.

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