Mumbai: Warning that increasing VAT on liquor services in restaurants in the state from 5% to 10%, effective November 1, will lead to bootlegging, unemployment, unregulated drinking, law and order disturbance and huge revenue losses, hotel and restaurant associations have demanded that the state withdraw the plan.

A delegation, led by Association of Hotel and Restaurant Ownerspresident Sukesh Shetty and Hotels and Restaurants Association Western India president Pradeep Shetty, said stakeholders were not consulted.

Sukesh said the move could make patrons switch to at-home dining and give rise to black-marketing, while Pradeep said it will hit the tourism sector. —Chittaranjan Tembhekar
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Hotel associations in Maharashtra, including the HRAWI and AHAR, have objected to the proposed increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) on alcohol consumption in restaurants. The associations argue that the decision discriminates against the restaurant industry and lacks consultation with stakeholders. They highlight the potential implications, such as job losses, an increase in black market sales, and a negative impact on tourism. The associations suggest that a modest VAT increase at the manufacturing level would be a better solution. They also express concern that the proposed hike could benefit illegal establishments while licensed establishments suffer.

Anuj Singh, a restaurant owner, and his eight-year-old son were killed by their domestic help, according to the police. The murderer was tracked and arrested in Punjab. The crime occurred on the day of the family’s griha-pravesh, when they were supposed to move into their new home. The accused, Sonu, had been previously arrested in a case under the Arms Act. The police were able to locate him with the help of another person who had introduced Sonu to Anuj. Sonu confessed to the crime, stating that he was angered by Anuj’s beating him.

Restaurants in Kolkata are experiencing a surge in footfall due to an early start to pandal-hopping, a tradition where people visit various temporary structures or “pandals” during the festive season. Many eateries are staying open beyond midnight and have seen a larger turnout than ever before. The early pandal-hopping has resulted in an unprecedented increase in footfall, with some restaurants being full for lunch and dinner since October 14. Additionally, food and beverage outlets are targeting those who prefer to enjoy good food and music instead of pandal-hopping.

(the above news was originally posted on Times of India)