If it is political browbeating, every action has an unequal, over-the-board reaction. The owner of Aditi restaurant, Srinivas Shetty, has learned the vital life lesson.
And in these trying times, while his fraternity -- Association for Hotels And Restaurants (AHAR), the umbrella body of restaurateurs — has left him to fend for his own, Shetty feels the issue did not warrant the seething protest mounted by Congress workers. “I have my opinion and India being an independent country, I have the right to express my views.
Because of the government including all AC eateries in its purview for paying service tax, I suffered losses and I had to shut down the AC section of my restaurant altogether,” Shetty says.
He continued, “It’s been 15 days since I got this thing printed on the bills, and many customers came and congratulated me over this. Since I had received praise for the act, I did not think something like this would come up. In fact, I had thought of this idea when the law enforcing service tax at all AC restaurants came out. I had wanted to do it since a long time and I did it.”
Shetty pauses to ask a question that the public and clientele have been openly asking. “Where a tea costs a mere Rs 12 why would someone pay 5% service tax? This is not fair on the part of the government, and I chose this way to show my grievance specially since the government did not even hear our association when we went to discuss the matter with them.”
One of the AHAR members, on request of anonymity, said, “It was a private matter between two parties and until we don’t get a complaint we will not interfere.”