New Delhi, Sanjeev Trivedi, New Delhi, Aug 14 : For Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan , the whole episode appeared to be unbelievable. He had represented Hajipur known for its Banana cultivation for decades and yet he must never have had come across such a selling price for Bananas. In utter disbelief, he on Tuesday asked his ministry to ascertain as to how can a Chandigarh 5 star hotel charge Rs 442 for just 2 bananas ! And then there also was the news about eggs in a Mumbai 5 star hotel where a guest complained of paying Rs 1700 just for 2 eggs.
The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has come into action on the news reports and as per the officials, notices have been served on the two hotels asking them to explain why such an exorbitant billing was done. The Chandigarh hotel has already bore the brunt of a fine for unfairly charging GST on bananas. The Minster was told that the high costs on the two items were because of the high service charge that the hotels were collecting. They also said that Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is generally silent on the quantum of the service charge.
But not satisfied by the explanation Paswan said this was akin to the system of 'Dual MRP' wherein the same product were priced differantly at differant locations. His directed that as the system of Dual MRP in packaged food items was grossly illegal on the part of the sellers so was it in the case of banana and eggs. In consultation with the Ministry officials a new method of pricing in big hotels and high profile eating joints has been devised .
As per the new rules to be framed, all the hotels will have to mention on the menu card - the retail price of the eatables plus the service charge on the product which will give the final price of the eatable. The quantum of service charge will not be fixed by the Govt but it definitely will have an eye on it
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