In December 2017, The Supreme Court has allowed hotels and restaurants to sell bottled water and other packaged products at above the maximum retail price, saying they also render a service and cannot be governed by the Legal Metrology Act.
But after this judgment a few of the restaurants are pillaging and charging exorbitantly, like one newly opened restaurant in Tilakwadi, Belagavi charged Rs.100 per bottle while a small joint in the Tilakwadi suburbs charged Rs.35 per bottle when the MRP was mentioned as 20.
In may last year many of the shops were fined for charging more than MRP, even INOX, Big cinemas were charged a fine for charging more.
But after the Apex courts decision it was free ground for the restaurants to charge any amount, and few of them are taking undue advantage of this. Most of the restaurants allow customers to bring their own water bottles, which is a welcome sign.
Restaurants normally provide us an option of purified drinking water for free. Internationally very few countries offer tap water (even though it’s filtered/purified) for free. The consumers should also avoid buying bottled water, only if they do not have the sense to discard the bottles properly.
GST on Bottled Water – Check your Bills
There is one more aspect which many dont bother to see is the GST calculated on the bottled water in the bill. The bottled water is inclusive taxes, the MRP of 20 has taxes included in it, but normally most (not all) hotels just add 5% GST on the total bill like food and also include the water at 5%. So its 20+5% GST.
In-fact that 20 already has the tax included, and hence the restaurants must charge the GST only on the EXTRA amount that they may charge on the bottle.
(for eg: Water charged at 25, GST should be calculated on the 5 only and not on the 25 as GST on 20 is inclusive.) The GST on bottled water is 18% as per the rules.
Carrying your own water seems to be a better option and each hotel is bound to provide clean and purified drinking water free of cost.