Students are suddenly finding eating out became very expensive after GST.
GST is charged at 18% in air conditioned restaurants earlier it was 6% says restaurant owners.
“Everywhere we have been to, there has been only price increase. Now they charge 18 per cent along with the existing prices. Even they are not clear why they are charging that,” says college student Habin Hamza, who came for lunch with friends.
Zam Zam chain in Thiruvananthapuram, known for its grills, says reducing prices is impossible.
Their main raw material like chicken has seen no decline in prices.
Earlier restaurant charged 6% service tax earlier and it is charging 18% now since it is an air conditioned restaurant.
As a result, the restaurant says business has slowed down.
“Our business has decreased substantially. People still get angry at us for charging GST; some even ask for the specific government order,” says Abdul Shukoor, manager at Zam Zam.
“For AC takeaways we increased the tax from 6 per cent to 12 per cent. But now we are being told that it has to be 18 per cent. That’s a huge change and there is confusion,” says Mr Shukoor.
Madhusudhan Nair who runs non air conditioned restaurant has not started charging 12 per cent GST, and said he has time till August.
Before GST , he paid 0.5 per cent tax to the state government.
“An association of hotel and restaurant owners will protest outside parliament in August first week. We are demanding that the tax be reduced,” he said.