The Maharashtra government is in the process of creating a single window clearance mechanism for the hospitality industry, to promote the restaurant and food services business in the state.
“The Department of Tourism of Maharashtra government is in the process of creating a single window clearance mechanism for hospitality,” Maharashtra Tourism Minister Jaykumar Jitendrasinh Rawal said while addressing the restaurant industry in the city.
“We wish to continue working with the state authorities to overcome challenges, including single window licences, permissions for 24/7 operations, reduction in drinking age, usage of terrace areas to serve food…among others, so the city’s food services sector, citizens and the government can all be beneficiaries,” he added.
Referring to various concerns being faced by the industry in the city, the minister said no ministry covers restaurants, and the paperwork has to go to several departments to get all the requisite licences, and no objection certificates.
Some of the expected outcomes of the single window clearance would be faster permissions, single source of information for licences, processes, documents and increased transparency, Rawal added.
“The state government is committed to strengthening this sector in Maharashtra,” he said.
He explained that the industry has to report to a number of departments and no one in particular. Regulation of the business is hyperlocal, and the need is to deregulate the business and incentivise the opening of more restaurants, he pointed out.
The minister indicated that the move to introduce shopping, entertainment and city hubs at 22 points along the upcoming Mumbai Nagpur Corridor is also an initiative restaurants can look forward to.
“I believe the corridor can be a tremendous investment potential for restaurateurs and QSR (quick service restaurants) chains,” he said.
“The organised food services market in Mumbai alone is estimated to contribute are 3,500-4000 crore as taxes. Out of the 5 lakh people employed in the city, organised employs 53 per cent,” Riyaaz Amlani, President National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said.
“As per the NSDC, restaurants contribute the maximum manpower requirement within the hospitality sector,” he added.
Tapping into the immense potential of the sector, several multinational brands have entered the country, and the industry has also seen tremendous support from the private equity and venture capital firms, he noted.