New Delhi, Jan 1: With the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, V.K. Saxena, easing licensing norms, restaurants and bars at high-end hotels in the national capital will now be allowed to stay open round-the-clock.
Accordingly, all restaurants and bars in five and four-star hotels will be permitted to operate on a 24×7 basis after the payment of the necessary fees. Similar establishments at three-star hotels will be allowed to operate till 2 a.m., and in all the other categories, they will be able to operate till 1 a.m.
Additionally, at five and four-star hotels, the ceiling of only one restaurant getting bar licence has been lifted. This will enable the hotels to obtain separate liquor licence for more than one restaurant serving liquor within the hotel premises on payment of licence fee.
The number of documents required for getting licence has been reduced and 28 documents will no longer be required to be uploaded while applying. Instead of the earlier system, where different agencies followed different calendars – financial year or calendar year – all four agencies that include MCD, Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Services and DPCC will now follow the coterminous financial year ending March 31 for the purpose of issuance and validation of licence/NOC.
In a common application form, 140 fields have been removed, making it user-friendly, and the 21-page form has been reduced to just nine pages. Instead of multiple separate affidavits now, a single common undertaking has been introduced. Further, in a major relief, instead of the earlier system of grant of licence for one year, the period has been increased to three years for MCD, Delhi Police and Delhi Fire Services, and nine years for DPCC.
Also, grant of licence has been made time-bound, with a deemed approved clause being inserted, which will ensure that the licence has been approved and granted if the concerned agency does not take any action on the application within the stipulated time period.
An applicant will be able to get his licence within a maximum of 49 day nows, with minimum human interface.
The average time for grant of new licence was three years in Delhi until now. As many as 2,389 new applications for eating houses from 2022, and 2,121 applications from 2021 are pending as of now. Similarly, 359 applications for lodging houses are pending for 2022. Various industry bodies and restaurant and hotel associations had met the L-G and conveyed their concerns.
As per the rules approved by Saxena, applications for banquet halls will not be looked into by Delhi Police and applications for eating establishments on less than 90 sq mt area, and lodging establishments below 12 mt height will not be looked into by Delhi Fire Services anymore.
Documents like agency-specific affidavit, liquor licence proof, VAT registration, weight and measures licence, MCD affidavit, DPCC capital investment affidavit, water bill, electricity bill, registration under Shops & Establishment Act, affidavit regarding smoking area, location map, DPCC project report, proof of allotment of plot, ESI establishment registration proof, EPF registration proof, music licence etc. have been removed from the list of required documents.