Rahul Bose’s Rs 442 Banana Case: Excise officials say, “Fresh fruits are tax-free items”

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Rahul Bose’s recent video on Twitter has created a huge uproar on the internet. The actor was charged Rs 442.50 including the GST for only two bananas. After he posted the video of the bananas with the receipt, Twitterati went berserk and started commenting. The Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner and Excise and Taxation Commissioner Mandip Singh Brar ordered a high-level investigation on the GST charged by the hotel. As per the latest report in Indian Express, a three-member team of the excise and taxation department visited the hotel in Sector 35 on Thursday and seized all the relevant records.

The committee included Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Rajeev Chaudhary, excise and taxation officers R L Chugh and Arun Dheer. Rajeev Chaudhary told Chandigarh Newsline, “ETOs have seized all relevant records. 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.”

Ajay Jagga, GST expert told Chandigarh Newsline, “Fresh fruits and vegetables have a 0% tax rate and the rates of taxes are decided by GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister. As such the goods such as ‘fresh fruits’ which are declared tax-free or at 0% cannot be sold, as it is, by charging tax on it.”

“Similarly the ‘banana’ is taxable at the rate of 0% under HSN/Chapter 803 and accordingly charging tax on sale of banana by any hotel appears to be a clear-cut restrictive trade practice, as it is imposing unjustified costs on the consumer,” Jagga added.

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Also Read: Rahul Bose charged Rs 442 for two bananas; probe ordered by Excise and Taxation Department