05.09.2022: No separate charge or GST on using washrooms of Executive Lounges at railway stations: IRCTC issues clarification after misleading media reports

IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has denied media reports that separate GST is applicable for using washrooms in waiting rooms of Railway stations. The Corporation have clarified that a flat rate is charged, including GST, for using executive lounges, and several services are included in this amount, including the use of toilets and urinals. It is notable that IRCTC manages the executive lounges at major railway stations.

Today several media houses published a sensational report claiming that two British nationals were charged Rs 112 per head, including 12% GST, for using urinals at the Agra Cantt Railway station. The reports stated that the two tourists had reached Agra Cantt from Delhi via Gatiman Express Train, where they were received by a tour guide.

In the railway station, they expressed their desire to use the urinal, and the guide took them to the railway washroom. But they had to pay Rs 224 for using the urinal, Rs 112 per head, the reports claimed. It was mentioned that while the charge for using the urinal is Rs 200 for two persons, 12% GST was added and the total charge became Rs 224.

The reports claimed that using the washroom at the Agra Cantt Railway station proved costly for the tourists as they had to pay Rs 224 even though they spent just 5 minutes there and they used only the urinals.

However, now IRCTC has issued a clarification saying that the entire episode was misreported by the media. The corporation has clarified that the British tourists had used Executive Lounge at Agra Cantt Railway station which is a paid service, and there is no separate charge for only using washrooms at the Executive Lounges. As the British tourists had visited the Executive Lounge, they were charged the applicable charge for it, IRCTC clarified.

IRCTC said that the entry charge for using the Executive Lounge is Rs. 200 per person for 2 hours, along with 12% GST. The charges include unlimited services in the Air-Conditioned Executive Lounge like TV, comfortable Recliner Seating, Free Water, WiFi, Beverages (Tea-Coffee), washroom facility etc. It is up to the passengers whether they use only one, some or all of these facilities after paying the standard entry charges & entering the Lounge.

The Railway body also pointed out that Washroom facilities are also available ‘FREE OF COST’ at 1st Class & Sleeper Class waiting rooms at stations, implying that the British tourists could have visited those waiting rooms, and they could have used the urinals there without any payment. It is possible that the tourists were not aware of the free washrooms and the guide took them to the Executive Lounge. Here it is notable that apart from free washrooms attached to the waiting rooms, most Railway Stations also have separate pay-and-use washrooms, where the charge for latrine is Rs 2, bathroom charge is Rs 5, but the use of urinals in those facilities is also free of cost.

With regard to the reported incident, IRCTC informed that the two foreigners were informed about the facilities available at the Executive Lounge, and the entry charge for the same. They reiterated that 12% GST is the standard tax for the entry charge, and there is no separate charge of tax for individual services available in the Lounges.

Source: OpIndia

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