Keep some extra food and medicines as hotels and medical stores will be shut on May 30 from 6 am to 6 pm in Bengaluru and other prominent parts of the state. While hotels are protesting against the Centre's move to levy a new rate under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), medical stores are opposing the online sale of medicines.

Opposing the Central government's decision to levy 12-28 per cent rate under the GST, the hotel industry has called for a protest. As per the new proposal under the GST, the Union government proposes to levy 5 per cent tax on small restaurants which have an annual turnover of less than Rs 50 lakh, 12 per cent tax on non-Ac restaurants whose annual turnover is above Rs 50 lakh and 18 per cent on restaurants with air conditioners.

The hotel industry is of the opinion that the GST would have a bad effect, especially considering that the restaurant industry was the 3rd largest service industry in the country , reports The Hindu. Although the tax rate is yet to be implemented, the hotel industry feels that such a move is unscientific. Interestingly, hotels in hospital premises will work as usual, said Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels' Association president B Chandrashekhar Hebbar, reports Vijay Karnataka.

Meanwhile, medical shops are protesting against the online sale of medicines - that are an existential threat to them. The online sale of medicines is a violation of the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 which only enables dispensation of medicines under the supervision of a pharmacist. Besides, pharmacists claim, the online sale of medicines will have little restriction on the sale of narcotic and psychotropic medicines.
 

The protest is being held in response to the nationwide strike called by the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists and the Karnataka Chemists and Druggists Association.