8 months on, order to equate power tariff of hotels with industry awaits implementation

The implementation of order would have meant that hotelier would have to pay lesser power tariffs. They currently pay around Rs 7 per unit of electricity consumed.

Mukeet Akmali
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 13 2018 1:23AM | Updated Date: Nov 13 2018 1:23AM
8 months on, order to equate power tariff of hotels with industry awaits implementationRepresentational Pic

Following the 2018-19 budget announcements, finance department in April issued an order to bring power tariffs of hotel industry at par with industrial units in J&K. However, eight months down the line state government is yet to implement the order on ground, leaving the hoteliers high and dry.

On April 1, finance department issued an order in which sanction was accorded to the treatment of hotels and resorts at par with the industries so far as the payment of power tariffs is concerned subject to the condition that the hotel/resort is registered with the tourism department.

The implementation of order would have meant that hotelier would have to pay lesser power tariffs. They currently pay around Rs 7 per unit of electricity consumed.

The slack approach of authorities at the helm of affairs has irked tourism players who argue that if government is changed does that mean the orders issued has no relevance.

Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Chaya said that the government has issued order in April but it is not implemented till now.

“One fails to understand that why officials are giving cold shoulder to the order issued during previous regime,” Chaya said, adding, that non implementation of the order means hoteliers continue to pay bills as per earlier tariff.

President, Jammu and Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association, Showkat Chowdhary said that officials at the helm of affairs have made mockery of government order regarding treating power tariffs of the hotel industry at par with industrial sector.

“The order was issued by the commissioner secretary finance in April, if the government has changed but the official heading finance department is same who issued the order why hasn’t been it implemented till now,” he questioned.

President, Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Federation, Abdul Wahid said that hospitality sector is passing through turbulent times. “Had this order had been implemented it would have provided a breather for the hospitality sector as it would have reduced power tariffs by over 40 percent.”

Treating power tariff of hotels/resorts at par with industries was a long pending demand of the hoteliers. They have raised this issue with the consecutive governments, and it was during PDP-BJP regime, that former minister, Haseeb Drabu announced treatment of power tariffs of hotels at par with industry during his budget speech in Jammu, following which finance department issued an order.

Prominent hotelier and co-chairman of PHDCCI, Zahoor Ahmad Trumboo said that they have raised this issue with advisor to Governor and also with officials but so far there has been no forward movement.

A senior finance department official informed that “though they have issued order, but there were some queries raised by the power development department which have been sorted out. Hopeful it will be implemented soon.”

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