The Centre on Friday notified that a uniform rate of 5 percent will be charged towards Goods and Services Tax (GST) in all railway catering services in trains or stations.
As per the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the decision has been taken with a view to remove any doubt or uncertainty in the matter and bring uniformity in the rate of GST applicable to supply of food and drinks made available in trains, platforms or stations.
Therefore, with the approval of the competent authority, it was decided that GST on the supply of food and drinks by the Indian Railways, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) or their licensees, whether in trains or at platforms (static units), will be 5 percent sans input tax credit.
Earlier in March, IRCTC had introduced Point of Sale (POS) hand-held machines in trains, after many passengers filed complaints of train vendors overcharging passengers.
Soon after, the IRCTC released an official statement announcing the availability of POS machines at railway stations, thus helping passengers remain aware of relevant pricing information.
As per the authority, POS billing machines were introduced in train no. 12627-28, SBC-NDLS Karnataka Express on a pilot basis, and are expected to be rolled out to several other routes in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, the service providers managing onboard services of IRCTC were trained to use POS machines, and officials were deployed onboard these trains to monitor catering services. They were also reportedly provided Tabs for gathering feedback on the services from travelers.