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Hotels oppose bill to cap price of food items

Hotels oppose bill to cap price of food items

Thiruvananthapuram: Hotels in the State have come out against a state government proposal to check eateries from charging high price for food items and has threatened to go on an agitation if it was not withdrawn.
Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association Thursday demanded the government to rollback the proposed Kerala Hotels (Food Price Regulation) Bill on checking exorbitant food prices at hotels. The Association claimed provisions in the legislation were an infringement on freedom to do business and also violation of fundamental rights of a person.
It also claimed the state government was not providing any relief to hotel sector. The eateries produce food items by buying raw materials available in the open market.
It was condemnable to regulate price of food items in hotels instead of checking the spurt in prices of essential commodities in the market, Association General Secretary Moideen Haji said here.
The legislation was also an attempt to curb the rights of an individual to consume a food item of his or her choice, he said, adding, the association would launch an agitation if the bill was not withdrawn.
The state cabinet recently had approved the bill which provides for setting up an Authority to regulate food prices in all districts. All hotels and restaurants would have to register with the Authority.
Hotels would have to follow the price board approved by the authority, the bill said. There was also a provision to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on offenders.
Bakeries, wayside eateries and fast food chains will also come under the definition of hotels and restaurants.

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