They said that industry worth Tk4500 crore has been deeply impacted by the adverse effects of the pandemic
Restaurant owners have urged the government to allow the resumption of hotels and restaurants after the end of the ongoing lockdown on August 5.
Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association (BROA) said it in a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) on Monday.
They said that industry worth Tk4500 crore has been deeply impacted by the adverse effects of the pandemic.
BROA also assured that they will ensure compliance with all the necessary health directives.
Imran Hasan, secretary-general of BROA said, in his written statement, that the restaurant sector is one of the most damaged sectors in the country due to the pandemic.
The hotels and restaurants in the country have been closed for a long time due to the government-imposed restriction to prevent the spread of Covid-19, said Imran Hassan.
“This closure has created severe financial hardship for the sector and more than 3 million people involved in the business,” he said.
The sector also incurred a loss of about Tk80,000-90,000 crore during the repeatedly imposed lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic.
“Hotels and restaurants have been closed for a long time. However, we have to pay the regular shop rents, and salaries and allowances to the employees despite there being almost no income for the owners,” said the BROA secretary-general.
“That’s why we appealed to the government to reopen hotels and restaurants,” he added.
The organisation demanded to keep the hotels and restaurants open in compliance with the hygiene rules. They even agreed to operate at least at 50% capacity.
They also urged the government to extend stimulus packages and SME loans for the sector as it has been experiencing huge losses in the pandemic.
They came up with the demand after the government allowed the reopening of export-oriented factories amid the lockdown restrictions.
According to BROA, there are currently about 60,000 restaurants across the country, with more than 8,000 in Dhaka alone.
Close to 3 million people depend on the restaurant industry for their livelihoods, while the number is several times higher if it includes the supportive sectors.