Gujarat government offers property tax waiver for restaurants, hotels, resorts & water parks for FY21-22


The move brings tremendous relief to the hotel industry, which is recovering from a severe income crisis following the pandemic. The property tax exemption is welcome after the industry has experienced a downturn with the first and second wave of Covid-19 cases. This step will definitely boost the hospitality sector and a good step by the state government.

On Monday the state government announced full exemption from property tax for hotels, restaurants, resorts and water parks in the fiscal year 2021-22.

The state also announced the revocation of flat electricity bills. So the hotel owners, restaurateurs, resort and water park owners only have to pay for the electricity they use.

It will ease financial burden on hoteliers

Jay Sudhakaran, general manager, Novotel Ahmedabad said, the industry felt neglected due to staff restrictions in companies and hotels that are not considered frontline workers. The news is a welcome change and would help many businesses who are struggling with COVID situation.

The Hotels and Restaurants Association (HRA) and the Gujarat Food Entrepreneurs Alliance (FEA) in Ahmedabad have issued statements and representations to the state government in this regard. On Monday afternoon, a meeting held between HRA representatives and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, after which the decision was announced.

Narendra Somani, president, HRA, Gujarat said, rising rents, rising operating costs and lack of revenue due to the restrictions have severely impacted the restaurant and hotel businessess. The decision to abolish fixed electricity costs and property taxes will reduce the financial burden on hoteliers.

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Top Brand Hotels looking for growth on Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.

Noida-Greater Noida Expressway is going to have one more addition to its glory as the top brand Hotels such as Marriott, Starwood, Oberoi and Hyatt have turned their interest in this locality.

As per the Analysts, it is going to be one among the greatest hotel hub in the country with an addition of around 2,500 hotel rooms. Projects such as Marriott Hotel, Marriott Executive Apartments and Fairfield Inn are already announced. These projects are expected to be very successful as the tourists will arrive in New Delhi, Agra and Formula One which is close to Greater Noida.

Akshay Kulkarni, director-hospitality, Cushman & Wakefield has recently said that “Availability of land in New Delhi to construct future hotels is low. As the most projects on the expressway come under mixed land use category, it has created an opportunity for hotel firms to bring their brands into the NCR region”.

After the recent Supreme Court judgement, hotel companies that were allotted projects by the UP government in 2007 are also likely to construct hotels. In the list of hotels, Canadian luxury brand Four Seasons, Inter-continental Hotel’s brands, including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Suites are also going to be included.

Ankita Mehta, vice president, hospitality & commercial, Logix Group, said, “The availability of large tracks of land on the Expressway will lead to the development of five stars and luxury hotels in the area.” Marriott Hotels will manage the Logix Group Hotels.

HVS India, a Hotel Consultancy firm has tracked that construction of around 30 hotels has started in Noida and Greater Noida. They also believe that average room rates may get affected by the large supply of hotels in such a short term and may also create pressure on occupancies.

Plaza Centers to invest three thousand crore

Zuri Group Global is planning to invest about twelve hundred crore rupees for setting up five-star business hotels and luxury residential properties over the coming three years.

The investments would have a debt-equity ratio of 70:30. The company was open to raising funds through the private equity and IPO routes.

The Bangalore-headquartered company plans to open three to four hotels of 150-175 rooms each in Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Nagpur, Delhi (NCR) and Mysore entailing investment of Rs 800 crore over next three years.

Zuri was also planning to start constructing this year its luxury villas and apartments in Goa, which would entail an investment of Rs 400 crore including land cost. Zuri had acquired 300 acres for the project. The approvals for the project are in place and the villas are expected to be ready in 18 months from zero date.

Cheaper loan for hotels

As per the draft guideline released by RBI, bank loans to entrepreneurs for acquiring real estate for their business would not be classified as commercial real estate (CRE) exposure. Currently, bank loans to companies for acquiring real estate for hotels and hospitality are treated as CRE exposure and attract a risk weight of 100 percent. Depending on the risk weight, banks are required to set aside capital for loans. Under RBI norms, banks’ capital-adequacy ratio, a measure of financial strength expressed as the ratio of capital to risk-weighted assets, is 9 percent. This means that for loans carrying 100 percent risk weight, banks need to set aside Rs9 worth of capital for every hundred rupees they lend. If these projects are not treated as CRE, their risk weights would vary according to the ratings of the borrower or the ratings of the project for which the loan would be given.
Param Desai, a research analyst with Mumbai-based brokerage Angel Broking Ltd, said, “These guidelines, if implemented, will make it easier for borrowers to get construction finance for a larger variety of projects. Construction finance has been a major concern for most developers during the downturn because most banks are cagey to lend to projects, unless they have a definite action plan and deadline to finish.”