Hoteliers to switch off exterior lights to protest hike

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Mumbai, Aug 19 (UNI) Over 8,000 hoteliers, affiliated to the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, AHAR, will put off their exterior lights on Mondays and Thursdays every week to protest the steep power hike, proposed by the electric power suppliers like BEST, Reliance Energy and MSEB.

Speaking at a press conference here today, AHAR president Chandrahas Shetty said their way of protest will make their customers aware of the problems faced by them as they cannot pass on the hike on them.

''The prices at the hotels are already high owing to VAT, various licences required and also inflation and we do not want to increase it further,'' said Mr Shetty.

The president of Mumbai Sweet Dealers association, Mr Pradeep Jain said the hike in commercial power rates will affect them badly and they have appealed to the Maharashtra Electric Regulatory Commission MERC to intervene and are awaiting their response.

Meanwhile, AHAR is alo demanding the opening up of the power generation and supply market to allow more players and end the monopoly of the major players.

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