Two days after Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundarajan alleged that some restaurants were charging the old GST and increasing MRPs, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that hotel associations have assured the government that no restaurant will overcharge customers henceforth.
Hotel associations of various districts met on Wednesday to discuss the issues pertaining to overcharging by restaurants.
Addressing the media, Jayakumar said, â€śIt is being said on social media that 99.9% of restaurants are not taking advantage of the situation and are overcharging people, which is wrong. So, we asked the hotel associations to meet because many of their demands have been accepted. After the meeting, they assured us that no restaurant would be charging extra.â€ť
He also added that there are 2.5 lakh hotels in Tamil Nadu that provide employment to about 15 lakh people. Keeping in mind the needs of the customers as well as the hotel staff and hotel owners, the GST Council had reduced the GST to 5%.
Tamil Nadu Hotel Association President M Ravi told TNM that the minister had met hoteliers on Wednesday morning. â€śHe asked all of us to charge customers only 5% GST and not to increase the base prices of the food items. We agreed to it; no restaurant will be overcharging,â€ť he said.
Tamilisai Soundrajan had said on Monday that a survey will be conducted in restaurants across the state. â€śIn some restaurants they are still charging the old GST rates. In others, even though the GST rate has been reduced, they have increased the MRP to make up for it,â€ť she had alleged.
â€śWe, 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,â€ť she had said.
Responding to the allegations, M Ravi had said, â€śIt is not true. Only restaurants like KFC and McDonaldâ€™s could be following the old rates. All our south Indian restaurants have reduced the GST from 18 to 5%. We have already given 13% benefit to the customers. If we donâ€™t do that, people would not come to our restaurants. 99% of restaurants wonâ€™t overcharge, few restaurants were not aware but we have informed them about it now. Within one week, all restaurants will charge only 5% GST.â€ť
Many people had outraged on social media stating that despite the GST being reduced to 5%, their bills had not come down proportionately because restaurants had increased the cost of food items.