The 18% GST currently being levied on outdoor and industry catering services must be brought down to 5% to ensure the already-fragmented sector does not become more unorganised, said caterers on Monday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the first gathering of the Federation of Karnataka Caterers, the caterers said while only 5% GST is being charged for canteen services, this was not the case for event and outdoor caterers, forcing many to operate without proper licences and paying taxes. They pointed out that out of 10,000 caterers across the state, including 5,000 in Bengaluru, only 500 have registered with the FKC so far.
“FKC is an attempt to bring all caterers under one umbrella. However, there is some resistance and convincing needed as most small caterers operate without proper licenses due to the high GST rate. We’ve been trying to bring government’s attention to this issue, which limits the growth of the industry, but have been unsuccessful so far,” said Pankaj Kothari, founder president of FKC and proprietor of Sagar Hotel and Caterers, Gayatri Vihar.
The FKC, which was inaugurated by governor Vajubhai Vala, will now conduct awareness programmes and seminars to educate small caterers about the business and encourage them to get proper licences, said FKC president GK Shetty.