KERALA

Hoteliers protest hike in water tariff

Kochi: The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association, Ernakulam District Committee, will take out a march on October 21 to the office of the Kerala Water Authority chief engineer here in protest against the water tariff hike.

At a press conference, A.M. Abudulla and M.P. Shiju, president and secretary respectively of the association, demanded that the benefits being given to the small scale industries be accorded to the hotel industry as well. They said that the restriction on power use imposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had affected the hotel industry in the State. Many of the hotels were on the verge of closing down. Bakeries, photo developing units and engineering workshops were getting power at a concessional tariff because they had been accorded the status of small scale industry. The concessions being enjoyed by the small scale industry should be extended to the hotel industry, given its service-oriented nature. In fact, the labour laws and the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act applicable to the small scale industrial units had to be complied with by hotel owners as well. Even the government and courts had included the hotel industry in the category of small scale industries.

The new rules for constructing two toilets in a hotel had also affected small restaurants and hotels.

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