Mumbai: GST will make your railway station snacks dearer

Additional 12 and 18 per cent to be charged on food and beverages sold at railway stations and on long distance trains from today

Samosa or vada, which usually cost anywhere between Rs 8-10, or chips and other food items that are sold at MRP at railway stations will have the additional levy from today
Samosa or vada, which usually cost anywhere between Rs 8-10, or chips and other food items that are sold at MRP at railway stations will have the additional levy from today

From today, get ready to pay 12 per cent extra on anything that you buy from railway stations. Be it samosa or vada, which usually cost anywhere between Rs 8-10, or chips and other food items that are sold at MRP.

On Friday, the Railway Board issued a letter stating the static units like food and juice stalls and mobile units like pantry cars inside long distance trains will charge the Goods and Services Tax (GST), applicable from July 1.

Levy on MRP items
Under the new tax, food stalls at railway stations will also add 12 per cent to the food and beverages they sell. Moreover, those items – cold drinks, bottled water, packaged juices, chips and wafers that are sold on MRP will also have the additional levy. This comes at a time when the Central and Western Railways were supposed to promote e-wallet and cashless transaction at their stations by June 30.

Air-conditioned restaurants, hotels and food units at railway stations will charge a flat 18 per cent GST. “These eateries will now levy 12 per cent and 18 per cent GST on the goods sold and services offered. We have intimated our vendors at the railway stations,” said a railway official.

Cashless transactions
Meanwhile, eight stations in Mumbai have now become hubs for cashless transactions. mid-day had reported on the same in the March 9 article, ‘Pay at railway food stalls with debit card’. Eight stations – Churchgate, Mahalaxmi, Elphinstone Road, Dadar and Borivali on WR and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Kurla LTT and Thane on CR now provide this facility.

When mid-day visited couple of these stations, it observed that they had stickers showing the e-wallet option along with QR Code as well as the number on which the transactions can be done. However, it was found that the vendors at the food stalls aren’t well versed with the procedure for using e-wallet.

“Earlier this week, we inspected the working of these cashless transactions at these stations. We found it has been running technically, but there is a need for training the staff properly at food stalls,” said a senior railway official. Moreover, point of sale (POS) machines, used to swipe debit and credit card for every transaction, were also not provided.

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