Hotels and mess facilities in the district will remain closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday (April 29) to protest against the recent levy of Service Tax on air-conditioned restaurants.

Members of the Coimbatore District Hoteliers’ Association will join the other hotels in the country in the nation-wide strike. V. Purushothaman, president of the association, told presspersons here on Saturday that over 300 hotels would down shutters for a day. This would result in a business loss of nearly Rs. 10 crore in the district.

The restaurants were already paying two per cent Value Added Tax (VAT). The Service Tax of 12.5 per cent on 40 per cent of the bill value was levied in the Union Budget this year. This affected the customers as they had to shell out more if they ate in an AC restaurant. The price of food items in an AC restaurant was roughly 20 per cent higher than a normal hotel. Air-conditioned hotels were increasing because customers preferred it. In the last couple of years, 30 per cent hotels here had upgrade into air-conditioned facilities. “It is no more a luxury. It has become a necessity,” he said. With the additional levy, the bill would be higher for the customers. Hence, the hotels sought a roll-back of the Service Tax, he said.

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