Rahul Bose’s Rs 442 bananas cost JW Marriott Rs 25,000; GST penalty on 5-star hotel

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Updated: July 27, 2019 10:45:13 PM

An investigation was ordered into the matter by Mandip Singh Brar -- Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner and Excise and Taxation Commissioner after Bose tweeted Rs 442.50 being charged by the hotel for two bananas.

These bananas “are too good for me”, Rahul Bose had said in the video posted on Twitter.

A day after the Chandigarh Excise and Taxation Department sent a show-cause notice to the city’s JW Marriott hotel for levying GST on two bananas served to actor Rahul Bose, the department has now slapped the hotel with a Rs 25,000 fine for illegally collecting tax on the exempted item, news agency ANI reported on Saturday. The Chandigarh Excise and Taxation Department had sought an explanation from JW Marriott for charging tax on a tax-free item, an action that violated section 11 of CGST. An investigation was ordered into the matter by Mandip Singh Brar — Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner and Excise and Taxation Commissioner after Rahul Bose tweeted that JW Marriott hotel has charged a whopping Rs 442.50, including GST, for serving him two bananas.

These bananas “are too good for me”, Rahul Bose said in the video posted on Twitter. The actor showed the bill amount of Rs 375 for a fruit platter that carried 9 per cent CGST at Rs 33.75 and another 9 per cent UTGST also for Rs 33.75. Bananas are categorised under “fresh fruits that are tax-free,” The Indian Express reported citing Rajeev Chaudhary, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner. “So, in the show-cause, we have asked them to explain how come they charged tax on bananas.”

The show-cause notice was sent after analysing the records seized on Thursday by a three-member team set-up by the department and the hotel was asked to reply till Saturday. However, the hotel management hasn’t come out with an official statement. Apart from this, an investigation around whether the hotel is paying tax to the government has also been underway. Source in the department told The Indian Express that the hotel will face a penalty if found guilty.

Consumer Protection Council’s member and GST expert Ajay Jagga has written to Director Consumer Affairs requesting their cognizance in the issue. According to the letter sent by Jagga, the issue of 18 per cent GST levied on fresh fruits (charged as fruit platter), which are tax-free, is one of the subjects in which an advisory from the Consumer Protection Council should be considered.

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