Travel tech platform OYO on Sunday said it has requested the tourism ministry to probe the functioning of Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and order eviction of the "erring" executive committee members. The representation by OYO alleges that FHRAI's actions are detrimental to small hotel owners. It urged the tourism ministry to take necessary action against FHRAI's "illegally run" executive committee and its members alleging that they are working for self-interest rather than the interest of the small hotel owners. When reached out for a response, FHRAI Secretary General Jaison Chacko told PTI: "It would have been desirable if OYO would have tried to counter FHRAI's allegations and tried to clear the pending dues of hundreds of hotel partners."
He said FHRAI had approached authorities, including the CCI, NCLT, NCLAT, SEBI and government against OYO's "oppressive and unethical" business practices. Chacko said FHRAI had received several complaints from its members about "large scale breach of contracts, default of payments, unilateral cancellation of agreements and other fraudulent activities committed by OYO". However, the representation by OYO to tourism ministry said, "Aggregators like OYO have only enabled the industry in India over the last decade and new age players have democratised travel, made hotels and homes more accessible to guests from around the globe."
It accused the present governing body members of the FHRAI of "running a deleterious and malicious agenda aimed towards ruining the interest of hotel industry at large, and creating hurdles and bottlenecks for new players in the market, who are posing a stiff challenge to the self-serving agenda of certain members of the FHRAI with vested interest". The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) last week delivered a verdict on the appeal by Hotel & Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) and Hotels and Restaurants Association of Western India (HRAWI), two regional chapters of FHRAI, against the NCLT order dated August 30, 2022. The verdict termed all administrative decisions by the current executive committee null and void and asked FHRAI to conduct fresh elections in 30 days. "We further find that the acts of some members of the executive committee, who have formed a 'clique' to give shape to their chosen but perverse design are clearly acts of oppression and mismanagement," said NCLAT in its verdict.