Hotel fined after celebrity tweet exposes illegal charge on bananas

Banana Wallpaper

An actor’s tweet revealing the exorbitant cost of bananas at a Marriott hotel has inadvertently exposed the property of illegally charging GST.

In a video posted on Twitter, actor Rahul Bose revealed he was charged around $9 for two bananas (Indian Rupees 442.50), including tax, while staying at JW Marriott hotel in Chandigarh, India.

This inadvertently exposed the hotel for illegally charging GST on a tax-free product. As it turns out, under Indian law, bananas and fresh fruit fall under that category.

Prompted by the release of the tweet – which has been liked more than 21 thousand times and retweeted nearly 6,000 times at time of publishing – JW Marriott is currently under investigation.

“You have to see this to believe it. Who said fruit wasn’t harmful to your existence? Ask the wonderful folks at @JWMarriottChd”, Bose wrote in his tweet.

JW Marriott was slapped with a penalty of $525 (Rs 25,000) for the $1.42 (Rs 67.5) tax for two bananas, but the matter has prompted a further probe by tax authorities.

Chandigarh deputy commissioner and Excise and Taxation commissioner Mandip Singh Brar last week ordered an investigation into the matter and sought a reply from JW Marriott as to why GST had been applied on a tax-free product.

“Taking cognisance of the video and bill posted by the actor, I have ordered an investigation. I have directed Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC) Rajeev Chaudhary to conduct a thorough probe on how the hotel had charged GST on fresh fruits. Strict action will be taken if found guilty,” Brar said, as reported by The Indian Express.

According to Excise department authorities, the case – accepted until proven otherwise – is also in violation of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

AETC Chaudhary said that all relevant records had been seized.

“The question here is that fresh fruits are tax-free items, whatever the case may be, and ‘fruit platter’ is a taxable item. But the actor has been given fresh fruits and tax has been charged on it so we are investigating all angles.

“We are even probing whether relevant tax is being deposited regularly with the excise and taxation department or not,” Chaudhary told Business Today India.

The hotel was reportedly given until Saturday to file a reply.

“We have also called them for a personal hearing before giving out a decision. The hearing will take place before a judicial officer,” Chaudhary said.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

marriott

Latest News

  • News

Cato Touring Academy goes live following 25th anniversary celebrations

In the wake of a celebratory 25th-anniversary dinner, the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has announced the CATO Touring Academy, a landmark initiative in professional development for the travel industry, is now live. The innovative e-learning certificate program is strategically designed to augment the expertise of retail travel agents in the land-based touring sector, […]

  • Food & Beverage

Explora Journeys unveils new Anthology concept

The luxury lifestyle ocean travel brand, Explore Journey, announces the launch of its new Italian concept for Anthology which promises an unparalleled gastronomic experience. “Anthology is more than just a restaurant; it’s a voyage through Italy’s gastronomic landscape,” head of Culinary Explora Journeys, Franck Garanger, said. “For me, Italian cuisine is about respecting the people, […]

  • Attractions

$750,000 Melbourne Cup goes on tour around Australia

If you ever wanted to clap your eyes on the real Melbourne Cup, a 1.69kg 18 carat yellow gold trophy valued at $750,000, then here are the Australian destinations where you can see it. Manufacturer of the Melbourne Cup, W.J. Sanders, and sister company, ABC Bullion, have shared the Australian destinations in the 2024 Lexus […]

  • Attractions
  • Aviation

Qantas celebrates Paris & Olympic Games with French themed menu’s and amenity kits

Qantas will roll out classic French-inspired menus, limited-edition pyjamas and amenity kits as it prepares to launch new direct services between Perth and Paris from next month. From 12 July, the Flying Kangaroo will be the only airline to offer direct flights between Perth and Paris, adding more than 75,000 seats between Australia and Europe […]

  • Events

“Ghost in the Rocks” – Australia’s first Halloween festival

The Rocks will be transformed into a ghost town from Thursday, 31 October to Sunday, 3 November with Australia’s first Halloween festival – Ghost in the Rocks. The new festival is set to put Sydney on the Halloween map as the creative minds behind Mov’in Cinemas, Bastille Festival, and Xmas in July present Ghost in […]

  • Hotels

Radisson Hotel Group brings world-class hospitality to Cagayan de Oro

The Radisson Blu Hotel and Residences, Cagayan de Oro – the city’s first 5-star hotel – is the next stylish upper-upscale property from the Radisson Hotel Group. The 717-key project is set to become a new landmark for the coastal city of Cagayan de Oro, in the Northern Mindanao region of the Philippines. It features […]

  • Events

Brisbane Festival 2024 returns from 30 August

Experience a rich tapestry of culture, celebration, and community throughout the city as the Brisbane Festival 2024 returns from 30 August to 21 September. The fifth program from artistic director Louise Bezzina invites guests to experience the pinnacle of artistry with world premieres, Australian exclusives, Queensland commissions, and Brisbane spotlights across 23 days. Tt brings […]

  • Aviation
  • Destinations

Singapore Airlines to launch flights to Beijing Daxing from November

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced a new daily route between its capital city hub and Beijing’s Daxing International Airport. The flights are set to begin operating from 11 November 2024 assuming there are no complications with regulatory approvals. Located in the south of Beijing, the airport gives customers convenient access to the Beijing, Hebei, and […]

  • News

Touropa adds European river cruises to product offering

Touropa, the flexible coach touring company, have announced an exciting extension of its travel program to include more than 100 European River Cruise departures. Touropa, a collaboration between Sun Island Tours and Europamundo Vacations, is a global touring provider renowned for its extensive range of flexible and affordable travel options, and this expansion is aimed […]

  • Events

Christmas in July 2024 program

Save yourself a flight to the UK for a wintery Christmas and jump on the Hume Highway down to icy Canberra.

  • Hotels

Opening of Argini Hotel in Syros Greece

Located in cosmopolitan Vaporia in Ermoupolis, Syros, the Argini Hotel has opened its doors at the world’s second most welcoming city for 2024. Built in 1853 to house the family of Gregoris Paikos, a leading figure in the Greek Revolution, Argini Hotel was renovated with ethos, modern artistry, and utter respect to its neoclassical history. […]

  • Food & Beverage

Nobu Bangkok the World’s Highest Nobu Restaurant at EA Rooftop at The Empire

Nobu co-founders Hollywood star Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, plus eponymous chef Nobu Matsuhisa have visited EA Rooftop at the Empire ahead of the official launch of the world’s highest Nobu restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. With unparalleled dining experiences with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline and the Chao Phraya River, […]

  • Hotels

Nesuto celebrates five years of success with five five-night stay vouchers competition

Nesuto is offering guests the chance to win one of five five-night stay vouchers that can be used at any Nesuto apartment or apartment hotel across Australia and New Zealand as part of its 5th anniversary celebration. Guests and team members are invited to contribute to a digital time capsule that captures their favourite memories, […]