New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: In what comes as big relief for the restaurant industry in the national capital, which has been reeling under the impact of the pandemic and lockdown, the Delhi government has allowed restaurants and eateries to operate round-the-clock.

"On the request of restaurateurs to allow 24x7 business, it was agreed that restaurants will be allowed to operate at all hours subject to the condition that they submit an undertaking that they will take care of the health and security of their entire staff," the Delhi government said in a statement.

Giving the much-needed burst of oxygen to the industry, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also abolished the need for a tourism licence and multiple other licences, like the health and trade ones, issued by the local bodies.

The decision, taken by the chief minister on Wednesday, also directed the authorities that the health licence issued by the civic bodies be abolished within 10 days.

Restaurateurs had earlier said the FSSAI, a body operating under the Centre, already issues food and safety hygiene licences. Issuing of health trade licences by local bodies duplicates the task and is irrelevant, they said.

The government is also set to abolish the excise rules to allow service in open areas and balconies without extra fees and permit licences for all types of music. It was also decided in the meeting that the existing policy of a 10 per cent automatic yearly increase in the licence fee will also be reviewed.

The Delhi government, in a statement, said that such steps will help the industry generate more employment through higher demand, adding that the move will set an example of the "Delhi Model" of ease of doing business.  

"Delhi's restaurants are the pride of Delhi and provide employment to lakhs of people. I have directed all respective departments to remove unnecessary hassles in the smooth running of restaurants," Arvind Kejriwal said after the meeting.

Riyaaz Amlani, restaurateur and NRAI member, said, "Restaurants are key for employment generation in the city with lakhs of people employed in this industry. It is currently one of the most over-regulated industries, that requires multiple NOCs and duplication of licences."

By deregulating the industry, more restaurants will open up and this will generate more employment and help the tourism industry, he said.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta