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Small eateries save the day for people

Even as all major hotels in the city remained closed on Tuesday following the call by TN Hotels Association for a one-day strike against the implementation of the GST causing inconvenience to public, small eateries and hotels that were not part of the association made a killing.

Small eateries save the day for people
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People thronged small and roadside eateries as many of the major hotels downed shutters in Chennai

Chennai

Heavy crowds were seen in most of the eateries, especially the ones located along arterial GST Road and Poonamallee High Road as two and four-wheelers took all the vantage points on these roads. “Usually, we get regular customers for lunch and dinner. They include truck drivers, casual labourers and other workers in and around the area. But today, most of our customers came in cars and bikes and struggled for parking space. Since most of the big hotel chains along the highway were closed, we had to struggle to supply food to everyone,” said Mahesh Kumar, owner of a non-vegetarian eatery in Maduravoyil. 

Meanwhile, the day-long strike called by the TN Hotels Association over exorbitant GST rates was a success, said state president M Venkedasubbu. 

The strike was a fallout of the Union government fixing taxes between 4% and 18% in various categories, he said. While the hike was from 0.5% to 0.9% for hotels with less than Rs 50 lakh income, it was raised from 2% to 12% for non-AC hotels, 2% to 18% for semi AC hotels and from 8% to 18% for full AC hotels, Venkedasubbu said. The increase in tax from 4% to 18% over various categories would result in a person spending Rs 54 as tax when he/she dines for Rs 300, he added. 

The association has planned to decide on the next course of action on June 6 after meeting national BJP president Amit Shah, he added. This would be after the GST committee met in the capital on June 3, Venkedasubbu noted. 

Tourists affected in Puducherry 

Meanwhile, several tourists visiting Puducherry were affected by the closure of hotels in the Union Territory on Tuesday. About 60 per cent of 5,000 hotels in Puducherry and Karaikal regions of the Union Territory remained closed as the Hotel Owners Association organised an agitation for a day urging the Union government to reconsider the GST imposed on hotels. The hotel owners maintained that the imposition of GST on hotels will affect their business as well as the customers. Hence, it should be reconsidered.

About 40 per cent of the hotels opened since one group of the Hotel Owners met Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and sought his intervention. He assured to take up the issue at the GST council meeting on June 3.

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