Monday, 24 April 2017

Service charge on hotel and restaurant bills; government issues guidelines

Service charge on hotel and restaurant bills; government issues guidelines

NEW DELHI: Service charge on hotel and restaurant bills is "totally voluntary(स्वैच्छिक)" and not mandatory(अनिवार्य), Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday after the government approved guidelines on service charge. Hotels and restaurants will not decide on service charge to be levied(लगाया) but it will be at a customer's discretion (विवेक), the minister said, adding that these guidelines will be sent to states for necessary action.
"The government has approved guidelines on service charge. As per the guidelines, service charge is totally voluntary and not mandatory now," Paswan said in a tweet.
"Hotels/restaurants should not decide how much service charge is to be paid by the customer and it should be left to the discretion of customer," he added.
"Guidelines are being sent to states for necessary action at their ends," the minister tweeted.
As per the guidelines, the column of service charge in a bill will be left blank to customers to fill up before making the final payment.
"If there is mandatory levy of service charge, customers can file a complaint in the Consumer Court," a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official told PTI.
Hefty fines and stringent action against violation cannot be taken at present as the current Consumer Protection Law does not empower the ministry+ to do so, the official said.

Definitions of discretion (विवेक)
the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.
she knew she could rely(भरोसा रखें) on his discretion.
synonyms: circumspection, carefulness, caution, wariness, chariness, guardedness, tact, tactfulness, diplomacy, delicacy, sensitivity, prudence, judiciousness
the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.
it is up to local authorities to use their discretion in setting the charges
synonyms: choice, option, preference, disposition, volition, pleasure, liking, wish, will, inclination, desire


Definitions of voluntary स्वैच्छिक

done, given, or acting of one's own free will.
we are funded by voluntary contributions

synonyms: optional, discretionary, elective, noncompulsory, volitional, permissive

an organ solo played before, during, or after a church service.
Lara hissed, supposedly under her breath, but it was picked up over the microphone and echoed around the church above the organ voluntary .

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