New Delhi, November 15: Eating out at restaurants will get cheaper from today as the government has reduced the goods and services tax (GST) levied at restaurants from 12% and 18% to 5% from November 15. However, the government has not issued a formal notification as yet. As per reports, restaurant owners complained that their businesses were hit and were down by over 20 percent and take away orders were also largely hit due to the tax that was levied on them. On July 1, when GST came into effect, a uniform 18% tax was levied on restaurants that had both AC and non-AC sections, and 12 percent GST was levied on only non-AC restaurants.

President of AHAR, the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association on Tuesday said that even though the governmen has not issued a notification in this regard, the association has decided to pass on the benefit of a lower GST rate to our customers. “All our members will be charging 5 percent GST from tomorrow. Even if the notification arrives later, we believe it will mention November 15 as the date for the reduced tax to kick in,” Shetty was quoted by DNA.  Reports state that a uniform 5 percent tax was prescribed by the council for all restaurants, both air-conditioned and non-AC. Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Input Tax Credit (ITC) benefit given to restaurants was meant to be passed on to the customers. The GST council said the restaurants did not pass on the input tax credit (ITC) to customers and so the ITC facility is being withdrawn and a uniform 5 percent tax is levied on all restaurants without the distinction of AC or non-AC.

About 200 items including daily-use products like toiletries and furniture will become cheaper from Wednesday. The GST Council, during its meeting last Friday in Guwahati, had recommended that GST rates on nearly 210 items, 180 of them in the top 28 per cent tax bracket, be slashed. GST on restaurants was slashed from 18% and 12% to a flat 5% but, with no input tax credit benefits.

Also, restaurants in luxury hotels that charge Rs 7,500 or more per day room tariff will be levied 18 percent GST with ITC while those charging less than Rs 7,500 room tariff will charge 5 percent GST without ITC.  The products on which tax rate has been slashed from 28 percent to 18 percent include chewing gum, chocolates, coffee, custard powder, sanitary ware, leather clothing, artificial fur, wigs, cookers, stoves, after-shave, deodorant, marble and granite, dental hygiene products, polishes and creams,  detergent and washing power, razors and blades, cutlery, storage water heater, batteries, wrist watches and mattress among others.