Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: There was nothing in the State budget that warranted a reduction in prices of food and drinks served in hotels; reports to the contrary appearing in the media are far-fetched, the Hotel and Restaurant Association has claimed.

Association’s president N.B. Krishna Kurup said it would be unrealistic to expect hoteliers to cut prices when the 0.5 per cent tax paid from own pockets by hoteliers had not been withdrawn, the 12.5 per cent VAT to be paid by bar and star hotels was also being continued and in addition to all these, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac had, in his budget, proposed to impose 0.01 per cent cess.

The association president on Saturday appealed to the Finance Minister to change the tax structure pertaining to hotel industry since in his view in its present form it was unscientific. At pre-budget talks with the Finance Minister, the association’s representatives had appealed to the Minister to reduce luxury tax on AC and non-AC rooms hotels and to abolish turnover tax since bar licence fee had been hiked to Rs.22 lakh.