Chocolate Industry

Budget 2022: Restaurant industry battered by Covid-19 wants input tax credit, cheaper loans, emergency line of credit

Budget 2022: Restaurant industry battered by Covid-19 wants input tax credit, cheaper loans, emergency line of credit | Photo credit: iStock Images

The restaurant industry, battered by numerous closures during the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic which began in March 2020, has called for the reinstatement of the input tax credit, cheaper loans and an increase of the emergency line of credit in the next budget.

Zorawar Kalra, managing director of Massive Restaurants which runs Farzi Cafe, Made in Punjab and Bo Tai, told the Economic Times that the reintroduction of the input tax credit will empower the industry. The tax is accessible to all other industries, he added.

He said many restaurants are considering the possibility of closing permanently if the input tax credit is not extended to the industry. He further added that those who closed during the shutdowns need low-interest working capital loans to restart. Kalra also offered UK-style furlough schemes.

Rahul Singh, founder of The Beer Cafe, wants the government to improve the Emergency Line of Credit Guarantee Scheme (ECLFGS) and restore the GST input tax credit. He said the industry only expects the government to throw a lifeline to the sector and protect jobs.

Another restaurateur Priyank Sukhija, CEO of First Fiddle which runs Lord of the Drinks, Cafe JLWA, Diablo and the Flying Saucer, has asked the government for an input tax credit for the sector in the Union Budget 2022- 23. Sukhija closed all but one of its outlets in Delhi after the government imposed closures amid surging Covid-19 cases.

Mitesh Shah, co-founder of The Studs Bar & Grill, said capacity restrictions, limited opening hours and a lack of landowner support have made survival difficult for many in the industry, adds The report.

Rachel Goenka, founder and CEO of The Chocolate Spoon Company, also demanded an input tax credit, industrial status for the hospitality sector and a one-stop licensing authorization mechanism to facilitate business from of the next budget.