Hotel, bars and restaurants can pay annual licence fee by June 1: Bombay HC

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The Bombay high court on Tuesday extended the deadline for renewal of the annual licence fee for the permit bar licence holders in Maharashtra till June 1 amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, which is causing havoc to economic activities across the country.

Earlier, the court had restrained the state excise department from taking any coercive steps against the permit bar licence holders for failing to make the payment of the annual licence fee by April 30.

Justice NJ Jamadar issued the order following a petition filed by the Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India, an apex body of the permit bar licence holders in Maharashtra, which had sought a direction to the state excise commissioner not to increase a 15% licence fee for 2020-21, citing the daily losses being incurred by them due to the pandemic.

On March 26, the state excise department had issued a circular allowing permit bar licence holders to pay the hiked licence fee in three instalments — 25% by June 30, another 25% by September 30 and the rest 50% by December 31 – while taking into account their Covid-19 related business disruptions.

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