Written by Tarushi Aswani –
The Goods & Services Tax has taken the center stage in political and financial circles over the past year.
“If a base rate of 18 percent GST is considered, customers will have to shell out 8 percent more as service providers will charge customers entire 18 percent rate of GST. Currently, customers pay only 10 percent,” said Tulsi Tekwani, chairman of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Gujarat.
The GST now implies for consumers that eating out could get more expensive across the country. Presently, service tax and VAT both hover around the 14-15 percent mark. Assuming the GST is charged at 18 percent, means the restaurant bill would create a bigger hole in our pockets than it previously did.
But that is unlikely to deter consumers, says Kolkata resident Abhishek Roychowdhury. “I don’t think prices going up or down by a small amount will make any difference at all. People are going to eat out whether you are going to charge them 5 percent of 50 percent tax. Worst case, if the tax is too high, people might end up eating at cheaper restaurants,” he says.