Unfair. That’s how young Delhi describes the new luxury tax to be imposed on gym and spa services, so much so that many say they will quit working out if it comes into effect.
Under the Delhi Tax on Luxuries bill tabled on Tuesday, you may have to cough up 15% more for facilities such as gymming, health clubs, and spas — a move that has upset health buffs and gym-spa owners equally.
Sameer Khanna, 19, says, “It’s ridiculous ... I’m already paying a 12% service tax at the gym. I can’t afford more, I guess I’ll quit!”
Ishaan Khosla, 19, says, “It’s insane. I may have second thoughts on gymming.
"The government has failed in its basic responsibility to provide healthcare to the public. Now, they are making it tough for the private sector to do so. It only shows that health is not top priority for them,” says Dr Atul Mathur, cardiologist, Fortis Escorts Hospital. “Gymming is no way a luxury. It’s a preventive health facility,” he adds.
Those who run health centres are as furious. Gaurav Makkar of Ozone Gym says, “If staying healthy starts pinching your pocket, motivation levels would definitely fall. Rich people have gyms in their house; it’s the middle-class that comes to a gym. More than 70 % of my clients are from this section.”
Richa Agarwal of Cleopatra Spa and Salon agrees. “It is very unfair ... spas are not about fancy beauty treatments but wellness programmes guided by doctors and dieticians.” Along with this comes a luxury tax on banquet halls.
“We oppose this. It’s going to be very difficult for a middle-class person to get married decently,” says Rohit Gupta, owner Tivoli Garden, Chattarpur.
Inputs by Sanil Sachar
Gymming is no way a luxury. It comes under preventive health facility: Atul Mathur, cardiologist, Fortis Escorts Hospital
Earlier: Rs 40,000
Now: Rs 46,000
Earlier: Rs 2000
Now: Rs 2,300 per treatment
Earlier: Rs 1,700
Now: Rs 1,955