Hoteliers want GST anomalies corrected

Hoteliers want GST anomalies corrected.

Hoteliers in Kerala will intensify their ongoing agitations seeking steps to address the alleged anomalies that existed while levying the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on food bills.

The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) will organise a day-long fast in front the Secretariat on Wednesday. Lashing out at the ‘unreasonable rates that have been fixed under the GST regime, KHRA president Moideen Kutty Haji and general secretary G. Jayapal say many restaurant owners are left with no option but to pass on the burden of increased taxes to the customers. This is the reason for the increase in food prices.

“The implementation of GST has had a detrimental effect on our businesses, particularly among small restaurants that has an annual turnover between ₹20 lakh and ₹75 lakh. Such outlets, which used to be levied a tax of 0.5% previously, are now required to pay 5% as tax without charging customers any extra amount and claiming input tax credit,” they say.

Besides, a GST rate of 12% have been imposed on non-AC restaurants that register an annual turnover of over ₹75 lakh. While AC restaurants will come under the 18% tax slab, the same rate is being charged on takeaways as well as food served from a non-AC area of such outlets.

The KHRA has demanded that restaurant food be exempted from GST or the tax rate for restaurants with annual turnover above ₹75 lakh be fixed at 5% along with the right to claim input tax credit. “Unreasonable tax rates, which were much higher than the 3% tax fixed for gold, have been fixed for food. While petroleum products have been exempted from the ambit of GST for the benefit of the common man, a similar approach could have been taken for food served by small-scale restaurants,” the organisation said.

Mr. Jayapal has cautioned that the high GST rates are likely to lead to mushrooming of unauthorised restaurants that could be outside the purview of the licensing system and quality checks.

The association has also criticised the directive issued by the government that made it mandatory for each restaurants to have their own waste disposal facilities within September 15, failing which their licenses would be cancelled. They claim that many small-scale restaurants have practical difficulties in adhering to the order.

Source :  The Hindusthan Times


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