Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday extended the deadline for renewal of the annual licence fee for the permit bar licence holders in Maharashtra till June 1 amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, which is causing havoc to economic activities across the country.
Earlier, the court had restrained the state excise department from taking any coercive steps against the permit bar licence holders for failing to make the payment of the annual licence fee by April 30.
Justice NJ Jamadar issued the order following a petition filed by the Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India, an apex body of the permit bar licence holders in Maharashtra, which had sought a direction to the state excise commissioner not to increase a 15% licence fee for 2020-21, citing the daily losses being incurred by them due to the pandemic.
On March 26, the state excise department had issued a circular allowing permit bar licence holders to pay the hiked licence fee in three instalments — 25% by June 30, another 25% by September 30 and the rest 50% by December 31 – while taking into account their Covid-19 related business disruptions.
But, the association members cited their inability to pay even the pre-revised rate due to the viral outbreak after the excise department authorities decided to roll back the 15% hike and gave them an option on April 13 to pay the entire amount by April 30.
Justice Jamadar accepted the association members’ plea and allowed them to pay their annual licence renewal fee at the pre-revised rate by June 1.
He, however, refused to grant any more extension to the June 1 deadline to the association members.