It refers to highly irresponsible guidelines dated April 21, 2017 issued by Department of Consumer Affairs (Government of India) wherein consumers going to hotels and restaurants for enjoying food are advised to approach Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum against malpractice of certain restaurants and hotels charging compulsory service-charge in their invoices, instead of the Department imposing ban on such levying of service-charges or even providing column for tip. Guidelines doubt of some under-the-table deal with associations of hotels and restaurants, because everyone knows that consumers go to hotels and restaurants for enjoyment and relaxation rather than fighting for their rights through cumbersome court-procedures.
If eateries are really sincere for staff welfare, they can increase their wages at their own. Also since there is no limit on served food prices, they can increase prices rather than adopting back-door route to fool consumers through unfair service-charge. Law must be tightened for incorporating prison provision for eatery owners levying service charge in bills. Rather paying and accepting tips otherwise also may be made an offence since gifts and tips are polished form of bribes. Even provision of writing tip amount on credit card pay slips must be abolished.
The Central government should go ahead with its proposal to reduce GST on services provided by restaurants including also by air-conditioned ones to 12-per cent slab by abolishing corruption-generating provision of Input-Tax-Credit (ITC) of raw material. Any objection by restaurant owners against abolition of ITC must not be entertained.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal,
1775 Kucha Lattushah,
Dariba, Chandni Chowk,