Tag Archives: Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India

GST on all restaurants down to 5% from earlier 18%

Hotels and restaurants have welcomed the government’s move to reduce Goods and Services Tax on all restaurants from earlier 18 per cent to now 5 per cent. Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), said, “Reduction of GST rate to 5 per cent for all restaurants has come as a pleasant surprise. This is a big boost for the industry which has been reeling under a slowdown for quite sometime. Now irrespective of whether the restaurant is air conditioned or not, the consumer will have to pay a uniform GST rate of 5 per cent. This will definitely encourage the consumer to eat out again. “However, denying the ITC benefit on the grounds that we have not been passing on benefits is unfair. As of now, none of our vendors have reduced prices and there has not been any reduction of prices in raw materials for us. In fact, post introduction of GST the costs of operations and raw materials have actually gone up. The move to remove ITC amounts to double taxation and is inflationary. It also goes against every tenet of ease of doing business. We wish that the GST Council had considered that rent and interest attract 18% GST. However, overall we welcome the developments. We understand that something as revolutionary as GST will bring some disruptions in the initial stages. We just hope that going forward, Input Tax Credit will be restored,” he added.

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HRAWI reclassifies 13 hotels under global norms

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) certified 13 hotels in Maharashtra under new norms which are more contemporary and global in standards as compared to existing ratings. As per the new norms, hotel properties will be classified, rated or graded under six categories listed as Budget, Classic, Premium, Luxury, Deluxe Luxury and Primo Luxury, and will be uniform for both domestic and foreign tourists. “The objective behind developing the IHQS is to educate our members on modern quality standards as well as reduce the burden of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). The Government can now focus on improving and promoting tourism, while, we from the industry, are doing our bit to support the initiative,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. The Shalimar Hotel, The Fern Residency, Golden Swan Beach Resort, The Emerald, Peninsula Grand Hotel, Sun-N-Sand Hotel, Holiday Inn Mumbai international Airport, Waterstones Hotel, T24 Residency, Hotel Transit, Hotel Meluha, Renaissance Mumbai Hotel and Convention Centre and Hyatt Place are among the first hotels to have been audited as per the new classification standards and have been officially certified as of October 25, 2017.

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SC clarifies on highway liquor ban; big respite for city hotels

The Supreme Court has clarified that the ban on sale of alcohol within 500 meters of state and national highways does not apply within city limits, granting relief to the liquor and hospitality industry. The Apex Court’s directive that no liquor shop shall be visible and directly accessible from the highways nor it should be situated within 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of the service lane, created chaos in the hospitality industry. While lakhs of people lost their jobs, the MICE business impacted a great deal in the country. Terming it as a landmark order, Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) says, “This was a much needed clarification as millions of jobs and the very survival of the nation’s tourism industry was at stake. It has been HRAWI’s contention right from the start that the original order could not have been directed at hotels and liquor vends within city limits. We are thankful to the Bench and the Hon’ble Justices for unequivocally clarifying this. The order will bring relief to almost 70 per cent of the affected hotels.”

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HRAWI’s seminar on GST in Mumbai on July 13

After close to two weeks of relative uncertainty, many misconceptions, and quite a few incorrect assumptions, hotel and restaurants in Mumbai will have an opportunity to clear the cloud over GST and receive clarity on any doubts regarding the new tax law. For this, the Hotel and Restaurant Association Of Western India (HRAWI) has organised a seminar on ‘GST Law – 2017’ on July 13, 2017, at the Trident, Nariman Point. The seminar, open to both its members and non-members, will be addressed by eminent experts who also will help resolve any queries with regards to the new tax and billing systems. “The GST is a big change to the taxation system for our country and to get familiarized with any change takes time. Over the last one week the association has been trying to identify the most common issues and queries posed by hoteliers and restaurateurs and also by customers. Through this seminar we intend to put to rest any ambiguities and address any grey areas with respect to GST. We have brought on board the best minds and experts on matters of taxation and who would be happy to help us bridge any gaps in our understanding of the GST. We are positive that participating hotels and restaurants will greatly benefit from this seminar,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI.  

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End drunk driving, not hotels: HRAWI campaigns against liqour ban

Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), the apex body of restaurateurs and hoteliers of Western India, has initiated a full-fledged social media campaign on the recent issue of liquor ban. “Through the social media we will convey a few facts that, in normal times, would have been apparent. In the current state, unfortunately, facts are obscured by surround sound. The facts to be considered are alcoholism is a disease and a social evil; drunken driving is a crime; and, hotels and restaurants serve alcohol. What is of significance is that these facts are not correlated. Any arrow of continuity that may exist is forced. The compulsive alcoholic will find ways and means for consuming alcohol and he will continue to drive after drinking. Just as locking up girls at home is not a solution for preventing rapes, banning hotels from serving liquor cannot be a solution for ending the menace of drunk driving. Drunk driving is a crime, and it should be treated as one,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. HRAWI will run a series of hashtags on Facebook that will try and explain some of the common misconceptions. “One million jobs, Rs. 200,000 crores loss to the exchequer, possible closure of 15,000 establishments is not a small thing. It is a huge social cost to pay. And we would not have minded being sacrificed if the ban were to yield any results. But reality is that all the job losses and other damages would be wasted. Statistics prove that there is a correlation between drunk driving and enforcement; and not between drunk driving and number of restaurants and bars. If true, there would be no drunk driving …

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HRAWI organises seminar on direct taxes for members

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) recently organised a seminar on direct taxes for its members in Mumbai. Addressed by Anil Harish, an expert in tax matters, the seminar enabled the hoteliers and restaurateurs to understand implications of the Union Budget, introduction of new policies, and the taxes levied among others. The seminar also specified the Government’s investment plans for allied sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, education, and tourism, and discussed concerns regarding overlapping taxes. Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI says, “Taxes form an important and integral part of any establishment. The seminar was conducted in order to brief our members and clarify their doubts on the proposed taxes in the Union Budget 2017-18 and its impact on the hospitality sector. Besides this, there were a lot of queries from the food and beverage operators regarding GST. The seminar in many ways proved to be an eye-opener for the attendees. We are glad to get such positive response from the members and plan to conduct more such seminars frequently in future.”

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FHRAI to Consumer Affairs Department: Withdraw service charge notification

In the wake of a statement issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs on Jan 02, 2017 implying Service Charge billed by restaurants are optional, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has come out with a clarification to all industry stakeholders. In a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) the apex body of hotels and restaurants, has appealed for withdrawal of the advisory as it has been creating chaos and disruption in the smooth functioning of restaurants across the country. The association has clarified that there is nothing illegal about levying the fee and has citied judgements by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi which is the highest consumer forum of the country as well as by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which have upheld the legitimacy of this practice. The association has pointed out to cases in which the practice of levying a Service Charge has been upheld by the law. In one of the cases, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in Nitin Mittal vs. Pind Baluchi, (2012) NCDRC 444 the Association has been advised that such a practice is not an “unfair trade practice” within the Consumer Protection Act. In another case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court too has specifically acknowledged the practice of including “service charge” in the bill by hoteliers and other cases in lower courts which too have recognized the practice. “Service charge is the amount paid to the staff of the restaurant or other similar establishments. An establishment may choose to include this amount in the bill itself and the percentage may vary from 5 per cent …

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