Anti-GST bandh is partial
Hotels, restaurants opened shutters by peak business time in afternoon
Nearly 40,000 hotels, restaurants, tiffin centres, food joints and bakeries shut down across Telangana opposing the higher tax slabs proposed under the new GST regime.
Although the call was for a 12-hour bandh from 6 am to 6 pm, several eateries had opened their doors by afternoon.
Telangana State Hotels Association (TSHA) president S. Venkat Reddy said that some hotels opened in the afternoon so as not to cause inconvenience to those customers who are regulars and depend on them.
Popular tiffin centres such as Suprabhat, Raghavendra, Nandini, and Swathi, which open from 6 am in the morning to serve breakfast, had a break on Tuesday. As a result, road-side tiffin stalls did brisk business.
“We did not expect this kind of rush. Our raw material and vegetables finished very quickly today,” said K Lakshman, who runs a tiffin centre in Vidya Nagar.
Curry points in different parts of the city were also in demand on Tuesday. People were seen taking away parcels of plain rice, chapatis and curry as they feared their usual restaurants would be closed..
Stand-alone restaurants, ordinary hotels and eateries that cater mostly to middle and lower income clients are expected to take a hit with the proposed GST rates of 5-18 per cent for different categories of restaurants, with the highest tax being 28 per cent.
Mr Reddy said that different slabs and categories such as non-AC and AC were not in the interests of customers or the industry.
Ashok Reddy, the president of the Hyderabad unit of the Telangana State Hotels Association said that there is a widespread support for their fight to change the tax structure.
“There are nearly 20,000 eateries of all types in the city and everybody is concerned about their future under the GST regime. How can we run businesses if people stop coming to hotels and restaurants fearing that their pockets would be emptied?” he queried.
This bandh call was given by the South India Hotels Association that has members in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
Medical shops, including wholesalers, at Inder Bagh in Koti remained close on Tuesday following a strike call given by the All India Chemists and Druggists Association. The pharmacies in other parts of the city were open.