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Your food set to get cheaper as service charge on restaurant bills could go

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PMO’s help sought to scrap service charge; even mentioning service charge in the invoice is illegal

Hotels and restaurants might find it all the more difficult to levy on food items sold by them after even mentioning it in the invoice, as the Department of Consumer Affairs has sought the help of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for sending the necessary directions to states for action.


Briefing reporters today, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister said that levying and mentioning it in menu cards itself is illegal practice.  


Few months back the ministry had sent an advisory to states directing them to stop this illegal practice, but some states didn’t act on it, following which the department has now decided to take the help of


He said on dual MRP, after the Centre’s intervention, global giant has started selling mineral water bottles at same rates irrespective of the place of sale, while the Board Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has assured that bottled water will be sold at same MRP at all cricket stadiums under its affiliation as outside.


has assured the ministry and also sent a directive to all the stadiums which it gives recognition that no packaged food items would be sold at different prices inside and outside the stadiums during the current and also otherwise,” Paswan told reporters.  


He was appraising them of the work being done by the food and consumers affairs ministries under him.


On the third issue of disclosure of food portions to check wastage, the minister said the he has held extensive discussion with hotels and restaurants owners following which it has been decided that both the ministry and the hotels would start a joint awareness campaign to sensitize customers about food wastage, while the compliance would remain voluntary.


“The big hotels and restaurants said that first they would sensitize their waiters to make the customer aware of what a portion comprises off, secondly, customers would also be made aware, while finally, some hotels have assured they on their own would try to lower wastages,” the minister clarified, adding that no law or questionnaire is being prepared to check portions. 


Meanwhile, on the recent government decision to allow duty-free import of 0.5 million tonnes of sugar, Paswan said that steps have been taken to meet any exigencies due to drought and that otherwise there is no shortage of sugar in the country. 


“In 2016-17, we had an opening balance of 7.7 million tonnes of sugar, while the production by any conservative estimate is projected to be around 20.3 million tonnes, which would mean an availability of 28 million tonnes of sugar in 2016-17, while the consumption is 24-25 million tonnes,” Paswan said. 

Deadline for pulse purchases extended

The Centre has decided to extend the deadline of purchasing rabi pulses from farmers till April 22 as big producing states like Maharashtra and others have demanded the same. So far, the government has purchased over 1.68 million tonnes of pulses out of the total buffer requirement of two million tonnes of which just 400,000 tonnes has been imported while the rest all is domestically procured. The total sales has been just around 96,000 tonnes, leaving the Centre straddled with huge stocks of unsold inventory.
 

Your food set to get cheaper as service charge on restaurant bills could go

PMO’s help sought to scrap service charge; even mentioning service charge in the invoice is illegal

PMO’s help sought to scrap service charge; even mentioning service charge in the invoice is illegal

Hotels and restaurants might find it all the more difficult to levy on food items sold by them after even mentioning it in the invoice, as the Department of Consumer Affairs has sought the help of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for sending the necessary directions to states for action.


Briefing reporters today, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister said that levying and mentioning it in menu cards itself is illegal practice.  


Few months back the ministry had sent an advisory to states directing them to stop this illegal practice, but some states didn’t act on it, following which the department has now decided to take the help of


He said on dual MRP, after the Centre’s intervention, global giant has started selling mineral water bottles at same rates irrespective of the place of sale, while the Board Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has assured that bottled water will be sold at same MRP at all cricket stadiums under its affiliation as outside.


has assured the ministry and also sent a directive to all the stadiums which it gives recognition that no packaged food items would be sold at different prices inside and outside the stadiums during the current and also otherwise,” Paswan told reporters.  


He was appraising them of the work being done by the food and consumers affairs ministries under him.


On the third issue of disclosure of food portions to check wastage, the minister said the he has held extensive discussion with hotels and restaurants owners following which it has been decided that both the ministry and the hotels would start a joint awareness campaign to sensitize customers about food wastage, while the compliance would remain voluntary.


“The big hotels and restaurants said that first they would sensitize their waiters to make the customer aware of what a portion comprises off, secondly, customers would also be made aware, while finally, some hotels have assured they on their own would try to lower wastages,” the minister clarified, adding that no law or questionnaire is being prepared to check portions. 


Meanwhile, on the recent government decision to allow duty-free import of 0.5 million tonnes of sugar, Paswan said that steps have been taken to meet any exigencies due to drought and that otherwise there is no shortage of sugar in the country. 


“In 2016-17, we had an opening balance of 7.7 million tonnes of sugar, while the production by any conservative estimate is projected to be around 20.3 million tonnes, which would mean an availability of 28 million tonnes of sugar in 2016-17, while the consumption is 24-25 million tonnes,” Paswan said. 

Deadline for pulse purchases extended

The Centre has decided to extend the deadline of purchasing rabi pulses from farmers till April 22 as big producing states like Maharashtra and others have demanded the same. So far, the government has purchased over 1.68 million tonnes of pulses out of the total buffer requirement of two million tonnes of which just 400,000 tonnes has been imported while the rest all is domestically procured. The total sales has been just around 96,000 tonnes, leaving the Centre straddled with huge stocks of unsold inventory.
 

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Sanjeeb Mukherjee

Business Standard

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