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Good News: Service Charge is voluntary, not mandatory

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New Delhi, April 21: In a welcome move for consumers, the government on Friday said that hotels and restaurants cannot decide the amount of service charge and it should be left to the customer’s discretion.

Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday, “Guidelines are being sent to states for necessary action at their ends.”

Last week, it was announced by the government that an advisory is being planned to form a to crack down against unfair imposition of service charge on food and drink bills.

However the decision is going to hurt the hospitality industry and the regulatory of industry had written to government about their concerns following government’s ruling in January when it said service charge is not compulsory.

The hotels’ body had said that it would affect 8.5 million people being employed by the industry while pointing out that the customer has a choice to choose to eat or not when it can not pay the service charge to a particular eatery or restaurant.

After Liquor ban in the hotels and restaurants in proximity of national highways another jolt for some players. But the consumers at large would welcome the decision.

Read More: 68% Indians want service charge to be optional 

Read More: Customers may not eat if they do not want to pay service charges

Wefornews Bureau

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Tamil Nadu: 9 people killed as Anti-Sterlite protest turns violent in Tuticorin

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Chennai, May 22: At least nine persons were killed and over a dozen injured after the Anti-Sterlite protest turned violent in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin on Tuesday.

Hundreds of residents went on a rampage demanding the closure of a Sterlite’s industrial plant in the city, citing that the pollution it generates is causing serious health issues.

To control the situation police resorted to firing and lathi-charge. Section 144 has been also imposed in the area.

We condemn both the state and central government who have failed to constitute Cauvery Board with all its statutory powers. We also condemn the police atrocities & violence that took place in Tuticorin during the protest”, said DMK leader MK Stalin

The agitation against the plant, which represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited, recently escalated after the firm announced the expansion of its unit in the city.

Sterlite Copper, which presently operates a 400,000-tonne per annum, maintains it has received necessary permits and has not violated any guidelines.

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Petroleum products should come under GST: IOCL Chairman

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New Delhi, May 22: Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) Chairman Sanjiv Singh on Tuesday stressed on bringing petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to provide relief to common people from a surge in fuel prices.

“There is no directive from the government to control fuel price. Spikes (in prices) were happening earlier and we decided to hold the prices for 19 days. All the petroleum products should come under GST”, said IOCL Chairman.

On being asked whether IOCL violated govt directive of day to day revision of prices of petroleum products during Karnataka election, he stated “government has given us a freedom to revise prices on day to day basis, we took a call”.

Earlier in a day, All India Petroleum Dealers Association president Ajay Bansal said the rising fuel price can be controlled by reducing VAT of state and central taxes.

“Fuel prices are directly linked to crude oil. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have reduced supplies. We don’t have any say to bring down the price. We can only reduce VAT of state taxes and central taxes, that is the only way to reduce the price,” asserted Bansal.

A litre of petrol in Mumbai was retailing at Rs 84.70, while in Bhopal it hit a record high of Rs 82.47 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, diesel touched Rs 71.66 in Bhopal and in Mumbai Rs 72.48 per litre.

In Delhi, prices of petrol was retailing at Rs 76.87 for a litre.

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Enforcement Directorate seizes assets worth crores from Dabur Director

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New Delhi, May 22: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday seized assets worth Rs. 20.87 crores belonging to Pradip Burman, the Director of Dabur India Ltd. in lieu of assets held abroad.

The ED seized the assets under section 37A of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), news agency ANI reported.

Burman, is the Chairman of Dabur Nepal Pvt Ltd (a subsidiary of Dabur India Ltd), Sanat Products Ltd., and Ayurvet Ltd. Sandesh. He joined the company in 1968, after completing his education from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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