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Service charge in hotels, restaurants not mandatory; Gov issues guidelines

Service charge

New Delhi:  Service charge on hotel and restaurant bills is “totally voluntary” and not mandatory, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday after the government approved guidelines on service charge.

Hotels and restaurants will not decide on service charge to be levied but it will be at a customer’s discretion, the minister said, adding that these guidelines will be sent to states for necessary action.

As per the guidelines, the column of service charge in a bill will be left blank to customers to fill up before making the final payment.

However, the new Consumer Protection Bill under which an authority will be set up will have powers to take action, the official added.

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