Running a hotel, restaurant, guest house, or roadside eatery (dhaba) in Delhi is set to become significantly more expensive. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has increased the trade license fees by a staggering 22 times.

Although this decision was announced back in 2022, most hotel operators had not yet renewed their licenses due to the three-year validity period. Now, as they seek renewal this year, they are faced with the higher fees.

Hotel Association Voices Strong Opposition

The Delhi Hotel Association has started to protest against this steep hike. Association officials plan to meet the Mayor and the MCD Commissioner to demand a reduction in the increased fees.

According to Saurabh Chhabra, the Secretary of the Delhi Hotel Association, the previous fee for a small hotel’s trade license was approximately ₹1,500 annually, amounting to ₹4,500 for a three-year license. The MCD has now raised this fee to ₹35,000 per year, meaning that a three-year license will now cost around ₹1.05 lakh.

Increased Financial Burden

Similar hikes have been applied to the licenses for dhabas, guest houses, and other categories of hotels, adding a significant financial burden on the establishments.

The Delhi Hotel Association had opposed this increase last year as well. At that time, MCD officials had assured them of a revision, but no changes were made before implementing the new fees.

Impact on Customers

The Hotel Association warns that the increased fees will eventually impact the customers. As the hotel industry is already struggling post-COVID, any additional financial pressures could worsen the situation.

If the fees are not reduced following discussions with the MCD Commissioner and the Mayor, hoteliers might be forced to pass on the extra costs to their customers by increasing food prices.

MCD’s Stand

Senior officials from the MCD have stated that the license fees for hotels, restaurants, and guest houses are reviewed periodically. The recent hike comes after several years without any increase.

Additionally, they mentioned that timely payment of property taxes by commercial establishments could lead to various benefits, including rebates on property taxes. However, the MCD clarified that no additional facilities would be provided to hotel operators in exchange for the higher license fees.

 

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