Business

Service Tax Is An Unethical Business Practice: Ministry Of Consumer Affairs

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| February 13 , 2018 , 18:32 IST

The number of people who did not pay or refused to pay the service charge at restaurants has increased, according to a recent survey that revealed a hike in the number to 37 percent in January from 35 percent in November.

The survey, conducted by Local Circles -- a social engagement platform -- said it interviewed 8,013 people, who visited air-conditioned restaurants in January, for their experience with the service charge.

"In response, 27 percent said restaurants did not charge it, 10 percent said restaurants charged and they got it removed, 27 percent said restaurant charged and they paid it while 36 percent did not pay much attention to their bills," it said in a statement. 

"The month-on-month stats show that although the percentage of restaurants not charging service charge is showing a constant increase, the percentage of people getting it removed has become almost constant," it added. 

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The percentage of people, who did not pay the service charge at restaurants, stood at 35 percent in November, 30 percent in August and 27 percent in May, it added.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs had called it an unethical business practice and directed restaurants to remove the service charge component from bills.

It said the trend of the gradual increase could have occurred either due to the strict warning by the government or due to the empowerment of consumers.

The development means the ministry "would need to do much more to make consumers aware and empower them further on this issue", it said.