A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee launched the Goods and Services Tax (GST), it was a normal day for most of the retail stores and restaurants in the country. However, many businessmen said that the impact of the new tax regime would be felt by the end of this month. According to revised rates for various sectors, the tax had dropped from around 20 to 18 per cent for dining in at air-conditioned restaurants. For non-AC outlets, it had hit 12 per cent from 14. Even the price of consumable items including rice and wheat has increased, even the cost of food delivery so a marginal splurge.
The restaurants saw decent rush due to weekend despite the increase in prices. Speaking to Indian Express, Anurag Katriar, executive director and chief executive officer of deGustibus Hospitality said, “It has gotten better for us. From 19.5 per cent it has come down to 18 per cent for all AC restaurants. However, the real test of this tax system will be when we file our quarterly returns.” Those eating joints which were operational post 12 am last night faced some hiccups initially. “Our restaurants were open till 1 am today. We had to provide consumers with manual bills for food items ordered before 12 am under Value Added Tax, and those ordered after midnight under the GST,” Katriar added further.
However, maximum restaurants did not have any adverse impact on their business on the first day. “Business was as usual today. The true impact will be known in a month or two when we know the change in prices for our input cost,” said Riyaaz Amlani, chief executive officer, Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Private Limited, owner of Smokehouse Deli, Salt Water Café and Social told Indian Express.
Even the online food ordering websites saw no specific difference in their customer base. “We’re experiencing the same growth trajectory as we have seen for months. GST will ensure a level-playing field for all food players by ensuring that everyone is compliant with the policy,” said Sagar Kochhar, CMO, Faasos.
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Other sectors including pharmacy stores and retail outlets were confused over the addition of taxes. These outlets will wait for a day or two before revising the tax slabs. Many retail outlet owners have said that they are now consulting their Chartered Accountants in order to revise their tax slabs.
Cab-aggregators such as Ola, Uber to charge less post GST:
Taking rides in app-based cabs could be cheaper after the GST implementation. The fare of cabs is expected to have a marginal drop too. The tax levied would now be 5 per cent instead of the earlier 6 per cent. One of India’s biggest cab aggregators Ola, on Saturday, had sent a text message to its regular users updating about the new GST regime. The text read: “The government has introduced GST, a forward-looking tax reform from July 1 onwards. It replaces the existing service tax and reduces the overall tax paid on your Ola rides.”