Eating in AC restaurants to be costlier from 1st May

According to a notification of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, the service tax proposals of the Finance Bill 2011 will come into effect from 1st May

New Delhi: Eating in air-conditioned restaurants which serve liquor will become costlier from next month as it will attract service tax from 1st May. Bills at these restaurant will go up by 3%, as the service tax of 10% will be levied on 30% of the billed amount, reports PTI.

Similarly, staying in guest houses, hotels and clubs will attract 5% service tax.

According to a notification of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the service tax proposals of the Finance Bill 2011 will come into effect from 1st May.

"...the central government hereby appoints 1 May 2011 as the date on which the provisions of the (Finance) Act shall come into force," the CBEC notification said.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, presenting the Budget 2011-12, had said, "Services provided by air-conditioned restaurants that have licence to serve liquor, by giving an abatement of 70%. Thus, the effective burden will be 3% of the bill."

Besides, bills for short-term accommodation provided by hotels, inns, guest houses, clubs or campsites from 1st May will go up by 5%.

The modified rules for imposing service tax on life insurance polices, as proposed by Mr Mukherjee, too will come into effect from next month.

Under the new rules, the insurer will have an option to pay tax on 1.5% of the gross premium charged from a policyholder.

The government has also rescinded a 2006 notification, which provided exemption to chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries for their services relating to representing clients before the statutory authorities.

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COMMENTS

nirmal jain

2 years ago

How about when a person book a restaurant online from the websites like zomato.com, grouptable.com? Do the person need to pay bills at such restaurants 30% extra service tax?

High food prices may push millions of Asians into poverty: ADB

The report said the fast and persistent rise in the cost of many Asian food staples since the middle of last year, coupled with crude oil reaching a 31-month high in March, are a serious setback for the region, which has rebounded rapidly and strongly from the global economic crisis

New Delhi: Resurgent food prices, which rose by 10% on average in many regional economies in Asia this year, can push an additional 64 million people into extreme poverty, reports PTI quoting an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

The study, titled ‘Global Food Price Inflation and Developing Asia’ finds that a 10% rise in domestic food prices could push an additional 64 million people, out of 3.3 billion people living in the continent, into extreme poverty, based on the $1.25 a day poverty line.

“For poor families in developing Asia, who already spend more than 60% of their income on food, higher food prices further reduce their ability to pay for medical care and their children’s education,” ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee said.

The report said the fast and persistent rise in the cost of many Asian food staples since the middle of last year, coupled with crude oil reaching a 31-month high in March, are a serious setback for the region, which has rebounded rapidly and strongly from the global economic crisis.

As per the report, if the global food and oil price hikes seen in early 2011 persist for the remainder of the year, economic growth in the region could be reduced by up to 1.5 percentage points.

“Left unchecked, the food crisis will badly undermine recent gains in poverty reduction made in Asia,” Mr Rhee added.

The short-term outlook looks bleak, as food prices are likely to continue with their upward trend because of factors such as production shortfalls, rising demand for food from more populous and wealthier developing countries and shrinking available agricultural land, the report said.

Other dampening factors behind the double-digit increases seen in the price of wheat, corn, sugar, edible oils, dairy products and meat include the weak US dollar, high oil prices and subsequent export bans by several key food producing nations.

Commenting on the current scenario, Mr Rhee said, “Efforts to stabilise food production should take centre stage, with greater investments in agricultural infrastructure to increase crop production and expand storage facilities, to better ensure grain produce is not wasted.”

The report further calls for enhanced market integration and the elimination of policy distortions that create hurdles in transferring food from surplus to deficit regions, besides, controlling speculative activities in food markets.

The ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework, under which the 10-member ASEAN group of countries has agreed to establish an emergency regional rice reserve system, is a positive step in that direction, the report said.

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SC quashes levying of Airport Development Fee on passengers

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the NGO, Consumer Online Foundation, contending that the fee was illegal, as it was not approved by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today quashed levying of Airport Development Fee (ADF) by private airport developers in Delhi and Mumbai on international and domestic passengers, reports PTI.

A bench of justices Cyriac Joseph and AK Patnaik set aside the policy of airport developers by which passengers departing from Delhi airport had to pay a fee of Rs200 for domestic flights and Rs1,300 for international flights while fliers departing from Mumbai were charged Rs100 for domestic and Rs600 for international flights.

The bench set aside the Delhi High Court's order which had upheld levying of ADF.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the NGO, Consumer Online Foundation, contending that the fee was illegal, as it was not approved by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

The NGO had pleaded that such levy can only be charged by a government body like Airport Authority of India and not private bodies such as Delhi International Airport (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) that are just managing the airport.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had in August 2009 rejected the petition of the NGO, ruling that private airport developers were free to charge ADF from passengers and that barring it would have damaging consequences for the Public Private Partnership Model.

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