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Service tax customer will at restaurants

service tax discretionary

New Delhi: The service tax ranging from 5 to 20 per cent added to bills of customers can no more be made mandatory at restaurants. On Monday, Department of Consumer Affairs said that automatic applying of a service fee is violation of fair trade practices.

Already state governments have been asked to communicate to restaurants and hotels that service charge is not mandatory but a customer may pay it voluntarily whereas an unhappy customer may not pay any service fee at all.

As per government sources, the Hotel Association of India has also confirmed that service charge is discretionary  and the Department of Consumer Affairs has pressed upon making customers as well as hotel and restaurants aware about this provision in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

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