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No restaurant can charge 18% tax on products, says complaint

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No restaurant can charge 18 per cent tax on products, a complaint by Chandigarh-based advocate Ajay Jagga said on Monday.

He said some of the eateries in Himachal Pradesh were charging 18 per cent GST on products.

Jagga, in a communication to the Central Goods and Services Tax, Shimla Commissionerate, said an eatery in Parwanoo town in Himachal Pradesh was charging 18 per cent GST instead of 5 per cent on its premises, which was incorrect.

“The rate of GST on sales by eateries is five per cent whereas on visit to the restaurant of Timber Trail Resorts, Pawanoo, on last May 27, it has been found that this taxable person is charging GST at rate of 18 per cent i.e. nine per cent under the state GST and equal per cent under the Centre GST, whereas the rate of five per cent i.e. 2.5 per cent state GST and 2.5 per cent under Centre GST,” Jagga said in a complaint.

“The charging of GST at the rate 18 per cent instead of five per cent in the premises of a restaurant appears to be not in accordance with law and needs probe, as lakhs of tourists are paying bills in Himachal Pradesh every day.”

Jagga had earlier made several complaints to the Consumer Affairs Department and the Excise and Taxation Department of the Chandigarh administration.

“It is a clear case of imposition of unjustified costs on the consumers and if someone does it then it is tantamount to restrictive and unfair trade practice,” he said.

“Higher rate of tax (in an arbitrary manner) from commercial point of view should not overrule the consumer interest,” Jagga added.

Earlier, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he had said the Centre should issue necessary advisory to all states that restaurants should stop charging unjustified extra cost, which was being imposed on consumers for items such as pastry, cake, etc.

Business

WhatsApp working on new software that uses Apple Mac Catalyst

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 Meta-owned WhatsApp is working on a new Mac app that uses the Apple Mac Catalyst development environment to make better use of system resources.

According to AppleInsider, WhatsApp currently provides a web-based Electron app for Mac users in addition to its web app via browsers.

Electron and Catalyst are software development frameworks that help developers create desktop apps.

The new app has been in a closed beta for a few months, but now anyone can download the file on macOS Big Sur or later on the WhatsApp website, according to the report.

Following installation, it will display a QR code that users can scan with their iPhone to link their accounts using the WhatsApp iOS app.

The Mac app’s three-panel interface provides access to archived chats, starred messages, phone calls, and settings.

The Catalyst app includes features not available in the Electron version, such as file drag-and-drop and a spell-checker, the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has reportedly rolled out some new shortcuts for group admins to quickly and easily perform actions for a certain group participant, on iOS.

The new shortcuts simplify interactions with group members as now the platform supports large groups of up to 1,024 participants, reports WABetainfo.

The new update will help group admins quickly manage and communicate with such a large number of participants in private.

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Business

Mumbai: No jumbo block on Western Railway on Sunday

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There will be no jumbo block on Sunday, January 29 over Western Railway’s (WR) Mumbai suburban section, the WR announced today.

Major block to dismantle Gokhale bridge

Earlier last week, the Western Railway had enforced a major 4.5 hour block on the down slow lines from 12.15am to 4.45am on the intervening nights of Jan 19-20 and Jan 20-21 to carry out dismantling work of the Gokhale road overbridge at Andheri.

As a result, a number of local train services were affected.

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Business

Panvel unit of employees of Bank of Maharashtra to join a day strike

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The Panvel unit of employees of the Bank of Maharashtra joined the one-day strike on January 27. All the unions operating in the Bank of Maharashtra have called for a one-day nationwide strike on January 27, 2023, mainly on the issue of adequate recruitment in all the cadres. The bank has eliminated the part-time staff cadre.

In the case of clerks and officers, the bank has not filled vacancies caused by death, retirement, resignations, or promotions, let alone vacancies caused by business growth.

During the last 10 years, banks’ business has grown by 250% while their staff has been reduced by 20%, and thus staff is hard pressed.

According to the union, employees are required to work beyond normal hours on almost all days and report to their duties on their weekly off and holidays. Employees are not able to avail of leave to their credit even for exigencies, and thus they have lost work-life balance.

Due to acute staff shortages, employees are unable to provide efficient customer service, despite their sincere efforts. Employees are working under immense pressure and thus are undergoing physical and mental stress.

The unions have been raising this issue of recruitment individually and collectively, but management is adamant and stubborn; thus, the January 27, 2023, strike has become inevitable.

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