Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday approved guidelines on service charge paid in hotel and restaurant bills. According to that bill, the service charge on restaurants bills will now be voluntary, not mandatory.
Now the hotels and restaurants will not decide service charge to be imposed but it will be at a customer’s discretion. Guidelines in this regard are sent to states for necessary action at their ends.
Here are the main highlights of guidelines:
The service charge column in a bill will be left blank and customer will fill it up before making the final payment.
If any restaurant or hotel asks customer to pay services charge as mandatory then customer can file a complaint in the Consumer Court as said by a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official.
A new authority will be set up under the new Consumer Protection Bill which will have the powers to take action.