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Retailers at malls seek 0 rentals till May

In the face of the lock down, India’s largest restaurant chains, retailers and multiplexes are invoking the force majeure clause and have sought waiver of rentals from mall owners till May. Force majeure encompasses within its ambit rare and unanticipated events, beyond the control of the concerned party that prevents him from fulfilling a contract.

These affected parties have cited zero revenues in the immediate term and a drop of at least 50% in revenues for several months to come. The ₹4.2 lakh crore restaurant industry, is hit by store closures, job losses, and significant erosion of profits and revenue because of the lockdown and social distancing norms.

“Yes, we have written to the owners of the premises seeking waiver of lease rent from March till at least May 2020. With likelihood of improvement being remote for several months, support from owners is very crucial for survival; it is most critical to manage cash flow and staff salaries,” Anjan Chatterjee, founder of Speciality Restaurants, told reporters.

While some malls have already announced rent waivers, other malls said they are working with tenants to find a middle ground.