With the GST roll-out impacting taxation of various products, the government has allowed companies to sell “unsold stock” at new prices after stamping or printing the revised maximum retail price (MRP) along with the existing price on the package. The Department of Consumer Affairs issued an order on Tuesday giving a three month window till September 30 to companies to sell unsold stocks at new prices. A revision in the rate of a pre-packaged commodity can be done only after advertisement in at least two newspapers, Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Srivastava said at a press conference on Tuesday. Declaration of changed MRP can be done by way of stamping or putting sticker or online printing, he said.
“New price cannot be higher than extent of increase of tax. The original MRP should continue to be displayed and the revised MRP shall not overwrite it,” Srivastava said. For reducing the MRP, a sticker with the revised lower MRP may be affixed. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Department of Consumer Affairs said: “In exercise of the powers conferred by rule 33 (1) of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, the Central government hereby permits the manufacturers or packers or importers of pre-packaged commodities to declare the changed retail sale price (MRP) on the unsold stock manufactured/ packed/imported prior to 1st July, 2017 after inclusion of the increased amount of tax due to GST if any, in addition to the existing retail sale price (MRP), for three months w.e.f. from 1st July 2017 to 30th September , 2017.”
Speaking at the same conference, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the government is closely monitoring price and supply of goods, particularly essential items, to ensure there are no disruptions post introduction of the GST.
He said there have been no reports of any disruptions post GST implementation and a central monitoring committee, comprising of 15 top secretaries of the government, will meet every Tuesday to take stock of the situation. Additionally, 175 officers of joint secretary/additional secretary level have been given charge of 4-5 districts each to monitor the GST implementation, he said.
On the issue of registration for the GST, he said about two lakh new registrations have been done since the registration reopened last week. Of these, 39,000 have already been approved. The government will also start a one-hour GST Master Class which will be telecast on DD National to guide people in a smooth transition towards the new tax system. The telecast will be from 4.30 PM to 5.30 PM on Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and from 11.00 AM to 12.00 PM on Saturday.
With regard to the requirement for issuing bills for small traders, Adhia said traders having annual turnover below Rs 20 lakh are exempt from the GST. Traders covered under a composition scheme that requires them to pay a fixed tax are not mandated to provide a break-up of the GST tax on the bills they issue to consumers. Bigger businesses with a turnover of over Rs 75 lakh are required to issue bills with break-up of GST but not necessarily computer generated receipts, he said. Even hand-written receipts with a proper invoice number that can be added and filed in returns are allowed to be issued.
Adhia said toll tax, mandi charges and fee on vehicle entry into states are not subsumed in the GST and will continue to be charged by local bodies or state governments. All other levies on entry of goods have been subsumed in the GST, thereby resulting in abolition of entry barriers in 22 states.