How much losses did pubs and bars incur?
While schools and other educational institutions will remain closed till 30 September, pubs, bars and clubs will re-open from September 1 with 50% capacity.
Bengaluru: While schools and other educational institutions will remain closed till 30 September, pubs, bars and clubs will re-open from September 1 with 50% capacity.
The Karnataka government's decision to allow pubs, bars and clubs comes at at time the state, especially Bengaluru, is witnessing an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Although the state government is yet to announce the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for pubs, bars and clubs, they will be allowed to function subject to reduced seating capacity of 50%. The industry was mighty disappointed with the government not announcing the eagerly waited SoPs. Excise commissioner Lokesh M had stated that an official order will be issued with regard to reopening of pubs and bars.
In the meanwhile, the industry and the state government have conflicting versions on the losses incurred by the pubs, bars and clubs. During the five months, the government had estimated the revenue loss at Rs 1,500 crore, but the industry pegged losses at Rs 3,000 crore.
Karnataka bar and restaurant association president Karunakar Hegde told The Hans India said, "We are awaiting the guidelines from the excise department. There are 6,000 bars and restaurants in Karnataka. As per our estimates, every bar or pub incurred monthly losses anywhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown in the last five months. We estimate the loss at Rs 3,000 crore," Hegde said.
The industry appealed to the state government to provide discounts on the license fees since the bars were closed for five months. "We appealed to the government to offer discounts on license fees. Over 500 outlets could not renew their licenses," he added.
Bangalore Hotels Association president P C Rao welcomed the government's decision to reopen bars, pubs and clubs, but appealed for waiver of license fees.
"Pubs and bars pay Rs 70,000 towards license fees. This needs to be waived off. We will reopen bars and pubs once the government announces the SoPs," he added.
General Manager of Church Street Social Kishore stated that that they have not yet decided to open the pub tomorrow as the government did not come out with the SoPs. "The government should have come out with the SoPs," he said.