Government of Maharashtra has now announced the criteria for levying taxes and charges at the industrial rate for non-classified hotels in the state that are eligible for ‘Industry’ status. The application process is now open on the official website of Maharashtra Tourism.
In a landmark decision to bolster the hospitality sector, Government of Maharashtra had awarded the hospitality sector the status of an industry last year. From April 1, 2021, one to five-star hotels registered with the Ministry of Tourism have been able to enjoy tariffs and duties on electricity, water, property, development and non-agricultural taxes at industrial rates. For the hotels which are not registered with the Ministry, an expert committee was appointed under the chairmanship of Dr Dhananjay Sawalkar, Director, Directorate of Tourism, Maharashtra, to define the norms for them to avail these benefits. The state government has now announced the criteria for levying taxes and charges at the industrial rate for the non-classified hotels, in the special hospitality category. The criteria are categorised in two sections, Annexure-A and Annexure-B.
Annexure-A outlines 50 mandatory ‘minimum basic standards’ that need to be fulfilled by the non-classified hotels. Some of them include:
A minimum of six letable rooms with windows and/ or proper ventilation
Cleanliness of the hotel
Effective management of the reception and other public premises
Clean and licensed kitchen
Special arrangements for the disabled
Code of Conduct and ethical behaviour by the hotel staff
Annexure-B for ‘Green Hotel’ lists 43 norms. The green hotel status will be given with a view to promote eco-friendly and sustainable tourism practices. If these 10 basic eligible criteria are met, ‘green hotel’ status can be attained by a particular hotel. Some of them include:
Annual training for all hotel staff regarding eco-friendly practices to be followed
A rainwater harvesting system to be in place
Effective waste management practices (waste reduce, reuse, separation and composting)
No use of plastics
Regular efficiency audit of eco-friendly equipment
Initiatives taken to spread awareness and motivate customers to follow the eco-friendly practices
Seek customer feedback for improvements
Introduction of key-cards or main switches to cut off electricity in unoccupied guestrooms
Adoption and use of bulbs that save power
Use of water and energy eficient appliances in kitchen and laundry.
Interested hoteliers need to visit the official website of ‘Maharashtra Tourism’ and click on the ‘What’s New’ tab for the form for the industry status registration. The industrial concessions will be applicable from the date of registration certificate of the applicant hotel. They should check the criteria on the official website of the government