New Delhi: Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday said service tax cannot be imposed mandatorily, adding that levying such tax is illegal under the latest guidelines issued by the government.
"There is no such thing as Service tax; people already know that taxes are already added when they pay for a product," Paswan said.
"Hence our government has issued guidelines which make service tax optional or voluntary," he added.
Paswan further said that restaurant or hotel owners should let the customer decide what amount they want to pay.
"Those who want to pay service charge, they can give in the form of tips or the resultant should let the customer decide what kind amount the customer wants to pay. But it is illegal to impose service tax on anyone," he added.
The Union Minister said that the customer has the right to approach Consumer Affairs department if they are forced to pay such charges.
As per the guidelines, the column of service charge in a bill will be left blank and it is up to the customers to fill up before making the final payment.