A dessert for food lovers

A dessert for food lovers

This weekend came as a welcome surprise for food  lovers as customers will have to pay only a uniform GST rate of five percent instead of 12 percent or 18 percent  for AC or non-AC restaurants as per the last council meeting.

Foodies in the city are thrilled with this change as they feel they can  eat out without feeling the pinch in their pocket.  

Food enthusiast Renukesh Bingeri says, "I eat out at least once a day. I mostly  go out to have 'biryani' or to cafes. I end up spending a minimum of Rs 300 to Rs 400 each time. The increasing of GST to 18 percent had been very difficult for me. I was sceptical to order as it felt like I was ordering for four people instead of one."  

He says that this new move of reducing  GST has been great. He adds, "It's an absolute delight for foodies like me as prices will now be reduced.  In the last few months, even the restaurants that were known to serve pocket-friendly dishes seemed expensive because of the increased GST rate."

Food and lifestyle blogger Nameesh N Rajamane says, "This is one of the best move taken by the government and it will encourage restaurateurs and common people. Today, eating out has become quite common and by reducing taxes,  it will lessen the burden on one's pocket, enable one to save more and encourage more people to eat out. It will also give a chance for restaurateurs to open new outlets."

He's also hoping to order food via online apps. "It had become very expensive to get food delivered through an app. Once you finished ordering, you will be shocked to find that the overall price is much higher than the total cost of the dishes."

"On a lighter note, I always felt that the government was dining along with me and having a great dish named GST every time I ate out," he laughs.  

While the customers are happy with the change, restaurateurs have a few concerns. With this new implementation, restaurants won't get the benefit of input tax credit, a facility to set off tax paid on inputs with final tax.  

'Chili's' CEO Ashish Saxena explains, "The GST reduction is a welcome change. It is also nice that the government has reduced complexity with a single rate across all restaurants. However, removing input credit goes against the philosophy of GST. Even before GST, we used to get VAT and service tax set off. So after GST implementation, our cost structure did not change much. With the government taking away input credit, we have to now look at increasing menu prices just to maintain the same profitability."

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