Four popular restaurants in Hyderabad were booked for dual pricing and other violations on Friday by the Legal Metrology Department in Telangana. Officials say dual pricing allowed by SC is not applicable to every restaurant in the city.
Cases have been booked against Pista House Restaurant, Nizampet, Sangeetha A Lounge Restaurant & Bar, Madinaguda, Chaitanya Bar & Family Restaurant at Kukatpally and Hotel Kuchipudi Palav Restaurant at Miyapur. All the four complaints were filed by K Sai Teja, head of social media and public relation at Forum Against Corruption (FAC), a city-based activists group.
In the complaint to the Legal Metrology Department, Sai wrote, "Pista House was found charging Rs 40 for one soft drink in a 300 ml of a glass bottle, whereas the original MRP on soft drink bottle is only Rs 25. In addition to this excess amount they are also levying the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP)."
Sangeetha A Lounge Restaurant & Bar was found charging Rs 30 for one Kinley Soda of 300 ml glass bottle, whereas the original MRP on Soda bottle is only Rs 12. They were also levying GST on the MRP.
Chaitanya Family Restaurant & Bar was also charging Rs 35 for one soft drink of 300 ml glass bottle, whereas the original MRP on soft drink bottle is only Rs 25. They were also charging Rs 30 for one Kinley Soda of 300 ml glass bottle and levying GST over MRP.
Hotel Kuchipudi Palav Restaurant was found charging Rs 25 for one soft drink of 250 ml bottle, whereas the original MRP on the water bottle is only Rs 20.
These restaurants were found levying GST over MRP despite the MRP being inclusive of all taxes. The Legal Metrology Department has booked cases against these restaurants under various sections of the Legal Metrology Act, 2011.
Speaking to TNM officials from the Legal Metrology Department said these hotels could be levied fines up to Rs 25,000 for their first offence and could be fined higher up to Rs 50,000 for their second offence. "The fines levied and the restaurants will be informed next week," said Bhaskar Reddy, assistant controller, Legal Metrology Department, Hyderabad.
These restaurants are levying charges over MRP based on an SC order that allowed dual pricing but the state's Legal Metrology Department insists that the dual pricing is only for institutional consumers who buy packaged commodities bearing a declaration ‘not for retail sale’, directly from the manufacturer or from an importer or from a wholesale dealer. Such items are for use by that institution and not for commercial or trade purposes.