Bars in telangana unsure of business in Covid times
- The operation of bars completely relies on government decision. If the government do not provide relief, the managements would be forced to shut them. The response from people is already poor unless the required safety measures are taken and delicious food is served,” says State Wine Dealers Association president D Venkateswar Rao
- Most of the bars in the State capital have opened to lukewarm response, With the corona cases increasing, bars footfalls are yet to pick up, With the corona cases increasing, bars footfalls are yet to pick up
Hyderabad: While the licenced liquor outlets, wine shops, generated the highest ever revenue of Rs 8,000 crore through liquor sales in just five months, from May 6 to till date, the corona pandemic has put a big question mark on the existence of 1,300 plus bars in Telangana. The bar managements are apprehensive of the business prospects in the time of crisis besides with the exorbitant annual licence fee being collected by the State government.
With the term of annual bar licence ending on September 30, the State government has given its nod to open the bars and clubs from Saturday onwards. While many bars resumed liquor serving facility in the existing well-furnished buildings in Hyderabad and also other major urban areas in the State, some of them are yet to reopen due to non-availability of staff.
Against the expectations, the bars opened in the busy Hyderabad limits received lukewarm response when compared to other parts of the State. The managements attributed the poor response from the visitors to the fears on safety inside the bars. In Greater Hyderabad limits, 800 bars have been permitted and the remaining 500 are opened in other urban local bodies.
While on one side, the bar owners are struggling hard with staff crunch especially the bar tenders and chefs, on the other side, they will have to shell out an exorbitant fee of Rs 41 lakh as annual licence fee by October. As per the government norms, the liquor traders will have to pay the fee in one installment or two in every six months.
The representatives of the bars associations said that the bars have been closed since March and incurred huge loss for almost six months. Most of the managements who paid the licence fee in a single installment in the current year bore the brunt of corona pandemic.
Traders who paid the half licence fee are waiting for a relief of the waiver of the remaining 50 per cent fee to continue running the bars for next year also. Those who paid cent per cent licence fee have been demanding to permit them to pay only 50 per cent fee for next year.
"The operation of bars completely relies on government decision. If the government do not provide relief, the managements would be forced to shut them. The response from people is already poor unless the required safety measures are taken and delicious food is served," said State Wine Dealers Association president D Venkateswar Rao.
He added that a representation requesting to give relief in the payment of licence fee was already submitted to Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, and they were awaiting a positive response. Bars alone in State fetch a revenue of at least Rs 2,000 crore every year.
Meanwhile, the government has targeted to generate Rs 20,000 crore revenue through liquor sales in 2020-21 financial year. If the bars closed, the impact on the revenues is evident, officials said.