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F&B industry stakeholders meet Karnataka CM, appeal for COVID restrictions to be relaxed

Chethan Hegde of 1522 said that the meeting with the chief minister was long-overdue as the stakeholders wanted to apprise him of their business losses.

Published: 21st January 2022 05:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2022 05:05 AM   |  A+A-

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday met representatives of the food and beverage industry and gave them a "patient and empathetic" hearing regarding their business woes due to repeated COVID-related shutdowns since March 2020.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Chethan Hegde of 1522 and SuzyQ by 1522 said that he along with Ajay Gowda of Byg Brewski Brewing Company and Bob's Bar, and Sibi Venkataraju of Toit brewpub, on behalf of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) and Craft Brewers Association (CBA), Bengaluru chapters, met Bommai at his private residence in RT Nagar on Thursday afternoon.

"It was a long-overdue meeting with the CM. We wanted to apprise him of our business losses due to repeated shutdowns, and night and weekend curfews, and wanted to request him to relax restrictions," said Hegde.

"The CM came across as a very understanding person. He told us that he is aware of the business losses due to Covid curbs and would want businesses back to normal in the state. But because of the past experience of the deadly second wave last year and the growing cases of COVID-19, he has to make informed decisions after consulting with experts in the Technical Advisory Committee on Thursday evening," said Hegde.

He added that they have requested the CM to lift the weekend curfew, which has killed their business, and extend the night curfew from the present 10 pm to 12 midnight.

"We explained that if we open our business hours till 12 am, we can manage the crowds better at our places. We have also assured the CM that we would strictly observe all Covid protocols and that under the current circumstances, we are okay doing business with 50 per cent occupancy," he added.

Bommai has assured the F&B representatives that he would make an informed decision on Friday, only after meeting the TAC. On Wednesday, the CM had hinted at relaxing curfew in the coming days after expert consultations.



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