The Vadodara Municipal Corporation has abolished health licences for hotels and restaurants operating in the city. According to a notification issued by the corporation, Sanitary Health License under GPMC Act was a duplication as health and sanitation are already covered under Food & Safety Act 2006. “Central government and state government have in recent times been emphasising on ‘ease of doing business’ and simplification of regulations to reduce difficulties faced by general public. Considering this matter, with immediate effect, Vadodara Municipal Corporation, Ward Offices, Health Department, has cancelled issuance of Health License under Section 376 of GPMC Act, wherever license under Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 is required and issued,” stated the notification.
Hailing the move, The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has commended Vadodara’s new municipal commissioner and expressed hope that other cities will follow the precedent. “For the last nine years, we have been petitioning municipalities across the western region for the exclusion of this particular license as it was a repetition and merely added to paper work and red tapism. The association welcomes the decision and appreciates the affirmative and expedited action of H S Patel (municipal commissioner, Vadodara),” said Bharat Malkani, president, HRAWI.
When any central law is applicable, the provisions of that law prevail over local laws and any provisions in local laws up to that extent become inapplicable. The central government has issued notification to this effect under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 and also remarked the same in a circular.
“The hotel industry is one of the most licensed industries in India and is required to obtain and maintain anywhere around 75 to 135 licenses, depending upon the outlet’s layout. Over the past decade and more, it has been solely our association that has been in liaison with the government to remove redundant and overlapping condition licenses, where such duplications could have been easily done away with long ago,” commented Kamlesh Barot, past president, HRAWI.
HRAWI has also made several presentations at state levels including the single window clearance system, which has in-principle received a nod from the authorities.
“We have also proposed alternatively, five tourism zones to the authorities to pilot the implementation of this new amendment in certain designated areas of Mumbai, where tourism can be promoted without disturbing residents, thus providing international level places of recreation in this metropolis. We have big hopes from this government and are positive that it will make ‘ease of business’ a reality for industries like us,” added Barot.