Restaurant Collective urges the government. grant new reductions, early reopening with precautions


  • Relief from the payment of utility bills from April to June and cumulative tariffs payable in equal installments with the tariffs from July to December
  • Excise license fee exemption requests for full-time restaurants not permitted to serve alcohol to customers
  • Wants authorities to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages to all restaurant patrons
  • Recommends the exemption of penalties on all unpaid statutory payments and the abolition of TDL and municipal tax for the current fiscal year

Fearing an imminent collapse, the Colombo City Restaurant Collective (CCRC) on Tuesday urged the government to provide immediate assistance through waivers and ensure an early reopening with caution.

President of the Collective of Restaurants of the City of Colombo

Harpo Gooneratne

Darshan Munidasa, Vice-President of the Collective of Restaurants of the City of Colombo

CPAB’s concerns were voiced at a meeting chaired by Central Bank Governor Professor WD Lakshman and involving Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of State for Money, Capital Markets and reform of state-owned enterprises Nivard Cabraal, Sri Lankan tourism president Kimarli Fernando, and travel, tourism and catering stakeholders.

Suggestions made at the meeting by CPAB President Harpo Gooneratne included relief from utility bill payments for the months of April, May, and June 2021 and allowing these cumulative tariffs to be paid in installments. equal with the rates from July to December. period; exemption from excise license fees for the entire period that restaurants are not permitted to serve alcohol to customers; allow the sale of alcoholic beverages to all restaurant patrons in restaurants as currently permitted in tourist hotels as soon as the lockout restrictions are lifted; remove the penalties on all unpaid statutory payments and remove the TDL and municipal tax for the current year.

The need for working capital loans from state banks at the same rate of 4% with movable property considered as collateral; the extension of the moratorium on existing debt until the end of 2022 was also highlighted.

The anticipated resumption of restaurants and bars with precautions and catering at 25% of capacity was also highlighted.

CPAB said that the Sri Lanka Tourism Board approved restaurant and bar industry, as in other parts of the world, is a highly regarded segment of the hospitality and entertainment industry among foreign and local travelers. They add the much needed diversity and dynamism to the travel and tourism industry and provide direct and indirect jobs and livelihoods to hundreds of thousands of people.

These restaurants and bars are officially established businesses that are registered and regulated by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and many other relevant agencies and authorities at local and central level. They contribute a substantial amount of income each year to the coffers of these organizations, such as 1% of their total income that the Tourism Development Tax paid quarterly.

However, CCRC pointed out that when it comes to formulating policies for the development of the tourism industry or providing relief measures in times of difficulty, such as the situation they are facing today, the The restaurant and bar industry has often been given little thought or consideration for many years.

For example, even though the relief measures proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and formulated and introduced by the government to alleviate the slowdown in the tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic have helped many hotels, resorts and hotels immensely. ‘hosts and inns, the restaurant and bar as a whole, were unable to secure the working capital loan offered at the 4% prime interest rate, as the vast majority of them do not own the premises in which they are located and are therefore unable to provide the Class A collateral demanded by banks as a prerequisite to qualify for these loans.

CCRC, as the only industry representative body recognized by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, has repeatedly requested the relevant authorities to accept as collateral the many state-of-the-art catering facilities owned by their member restaurants, but these demands have been repeatedly ignored or denied.

CCRC pointed out that due to this difficult situation, the restaurant industry which was severely affected by the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks of 2019 and the following three waves of COVID-19 is now going through a financial crisis without precedent that threatens to bring about the total collapse of the industry, which would result in the loss of billions of rupees invested in it, lead to massive job losses and substantial loss of revenue for the government and cause enormous harm to the industry tourism.

“What we have proposed is critical to the survival of the industry and the many livelihoods that depend on it,” said Gooneratne, adding that immediate support was needed for the resumption of tourism as CPAB members in are an integral part.


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