Restaurants hiking prices post GST rate cut? BJP promises action in TN

Unregistered Restaurant GST Bill

For everyone that cheered the GST rate cut on restaurants and coffee shops announced last week, happiness has turned into outrage in just a matter of days.

Anger has been erupting on social media, as several examples have emerged of restaurants hiking their base prices to charge customers the same amounts as before the rate cut. In effect, though tax rates on food have fallen, customers are still paying the high rates they were paying before.

The issue has bubbled over offline too, as Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundarajan announced that the party will conduct a survey of restaurants across the state.

“In some restaurants they are still charging the old GST rates. In others, even though the GST rate has been reduced, they’ve increased the MRP to make up for it,” she said.

“We, particularly the members of our youth wing, will visit restaurants across Tamil Nadu to see if GST is being properly applied. If it is properly applied, the hotel owners and managers will be appreciated. If it is not done correctly, they will be requested to apply GST correctly. And if they still do not accept, complaints will be filed,” she added.

Complaints against the high GST rate (18% for AC restaurants and 12% for non-AC restaurants) had been repeatedly raised, before the GST council cut the rates to 5% last week. However, many consumers found that their bills were not reducing proportionately, as restaurants had quietly increased the cost of food items to match.

One of the biggest targets of this public anger has been fast food giant McDonald’s, with bills showing its hiked prices being tweeted widely.

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