The Punjab government Wednesday approved waiver of annual licence fee for bars, marriage palaces, hotels and restaurants for 2020-21 proportionately for April to September. Agreeing with the recommendations of a Group of Ministers (GoM), it also approved waiving quarterly assessed fee for the first two quarters – April-June and July-September.
The financial implications after 50 per cent waiver of annual licence fees pertaining to the period from April 1 to September 30, 2020 would be to the tune of over Rs 13.55 crore in respect of 1,065 licensee bars in hotels and restaurants, which is half the estimated revenue collection for 2020-2021.
Similarly, for 2,324 licensee marriage palaces, the financial implications would amount to Rs 3.50 crore 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,” an official statement said.
Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab, Hotel Restaurant and Resort Association, Punjab and the Marriage Palace Association, in their representation to the GoM earlier, had sought relaxation in licence fee and 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.