Maharashtra: Hotels remain closed to oppose VAT

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Mumbai, Mar 27: Over 400 small restaurants across the state remained closed today to protest against the increase in VAT and competition from roadside food stalls.

Addressing mediapersons here, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association President Chandra Shetty said since the inception of VAT, the assocation representatives have met the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister and the Sales Tax Commission with their demand of reconsidering imposition of VAT on small hotliers on several occasions but nothing has been done.

''Except the assurance nothing has been done in the last three consecutive budgets. The Government has put the common man's food joints at par with five star hotels in the tax payment scale,'' Mr Shetty said.

Earlier, five star hotels were paying 23 per cent tax and small restaurants four per cent. But, after the implementation of VAT common man's and luxurious food joints have to pay same sales tax, he stated.

''We are loosing the customers due to increasing number of illegal vending food outlets, since they charge as much as 50 per cent less than small hoteliers,'' he said.

The representatives of the association from across the State will hold a meeting here on April 8, to decide the future course of action, Mr Shetty informed.

UNI

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