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Islamabad Restaurants Association urges govt to grant industry status to sector

ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Restaurant Association (IRA) on Tuesday urged the federal government to grant industry status to the sector which has been severely hit due to the pandemic.

A statement released said that industry status will benefit hotels across Pakistan to get electricity and water at a cheaper rate, lower property tax and license fees.

The association believes that granting industry status to the sector will enable hotels and restaurants across the country to avail benefits that will reduce costs and encourage reinvestment.

He further added that the sector has been dealt with a severe blow in the state due to the ongoing pandemic and needs immediate policy intervention to tide over the disastrous impact of the pandemic. Such small steps are vital for revival of the sector considering the extent of employment and income the sector generates, Restaurant Association President Khurram Khan added.

The removal of restrictions on the hospitality sector has helped in bringing hope for hotel owners but the sector needs strong support from the government to chart the path of overall recovery in the coming years, he said.

Commenting on the IRA’s demand to get industry status, economic expert Shahid Ali said that considering the national and international economic forecasts, Pakistan is expecting a bright future with sustained growth and an alluring avenue for foreign investment, and hoteling sector has huge potential for foreign investment which is key for economic growth of the country. 

He believes that industry status to this sector will create more opportunities for new players to invest in this sector that will lead to greater opportunities of employment in the country.

According to estimates, there are more than 1 million restaurants in Pakistan including dhaabas and employing more than 8 million workers. The size of the restaurant sector is about Rs134 billion annually.  More than 35 allied sectors of the economy are attached to this industry.

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