No GST on train food – are Indian Railways not ‘in India?’

Train Food

File Pic

Please look at the picture of the accompanying bill. A person traveling on Sampark Kranti Super fast Express from Bhopal to Nagpur a few days ago, ordered some food on board the train.

He had Knorr soup and some sundry items (Veg Biryani, Rabadi etc.). His bill came to Rs. 258/.

First of all, he had to insist that he be given a ‘pucca bill’ since they sought to give a kachca receipt when he asked for one. When he was finally given the bill, there was no GST, state or central, charged on it.

The question is, if in a city or a town, you eat in a restaurant and depending on whether the restaurant is airconditioned or not, you have to pay different slabs of GST, then should not the same apply when you order food on a train?

This passenger was travelling in an A/C bogey, so shouldn’t he have had to pay GST accordingly?

Further, if you see the bill, he was charged for not just soup, but for ‘Knorr’ brand soup. Now this is a big soup and noodles brand selling widely in India. We are sure they are in the gambit of GST. How could a product of their’s be sold without Goods and Services tax being added to it?

This is a point we would like the new Railway Minister AND the Railway Secretary to look into and answer.

Aren’t Railways part of India?? In fact even if you purchase a Railway ticket for traveling in A/C class your Service tax has increased from 4.5% to 5%.

Train Food GST

The bill for food served on train

A cursory examination of rules states this –

‘In case of Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Duronto trains where catering charges are included in the fare, the charges of catering component will get modified as per the new GST from 1 July.’

Nowhere does it say food sold in A/C is exempted… yes, transport of food grains like rice, dal etc. is exempt. So is cooked food also being considered in ‘raw material’ category?

Sorry for the phrase since we are referring to food, but we smell a rat here!!