80-year-old takes on famed club in south Mumbai over GST

Updated: Jan 19, 2018, 09:16 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Member and adminstration of Ripon Club fight over latter charging patrons 18 per cent GST on bills, instead of revised 5 per cent

The 137-year-old Ripon Club at Fort. Pics/Atul Kamble
The 137-year-old Ripon Club at Fort. Pics/Atul Kamble

A member and the administration of the 137-year-old Ripon Club are at loggerheads over GST. The issue began when Jimmy Chinoy, 80, a resident of Cusrow Baug in Colaba, who has been a member of the club for 40 years, was recently charged 18 per cent on two successive bills, instead of the updated 5 per cent. When he approached the authorities, he was told they charged a higher levy as the club did not cook its own food, but ordered it from a caterer who in turn charged them 18 per cent.

It is unfair," Chinoy told mid-day, recounting the event, "On January 12, I had taken a few guests to the club and when the bill of R1,940 came to the table, I saw that I had been charged 18 per cent GST. Earlier on December 31, I was charged the same on a bill of R795. Both times, when I asked those in charge about why they weren't levying 5 per cent as per law, they said it wasn't in their hands."

Chinoy had taken up the matter with Xerves Dastur, chairman of the club, but according to him, he was told that other clubs were also charging the same amount. "We do not cook the food ourselves at the club; we are catered to by an outside caterer who is charging us 18 per cent as she does not run her own restaurant," said Dastur.
"Whatever we are charged, we are passing on to the customer and members of the club. Unless we can absorb the differential amount, we cannot charge the members a lower GST rate," he added.

One of the bills where Jimmy Chinoy was charged 18 per cent GST
One of the bills where Jimmy Chinoy was charged 18 per cent GST

According to him, the club had not upped its food prices even after GST was implemented. "Our prices before and after GST have remained the same. Worse comes to worst, we have to increase them by 13 per cent and charge our members 5 per cent GST on it. We are hoping to get some clarification on the matter soon and resolve the issue."
The club, established in 1884 and known to serve delicious traditional Parsi fare, was known for its legendary Wednesday afternoon dhansak lunch. It had an all male membership until the authorities decided to move with the times and allow women as members.

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