In the wake of the GST rollout, the local kiranawalla or retailers seem to be adopting a wait-and-watch approach. Aware of the new GST regime, they expect the picture to get clearer in the next few days. Most of them believe that there will be no immediate rise in prices of products and the headache of tax hike, if any, will have to be borne by the manufacturers.
“The GST came into effect today. I think retailers will have to wait for a few days to get a clear picture of what is actually in store for them,” said S B Chaudhary, who runs a kirana shop in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
On Saturday, the first day of GST implementation, Chaudhary’s shop received goods that mentioned VAT. “It seems the old tax system will take a few more days to disappear,” he said, adding that GST was a good move and it would effectively ease their tax headache.
Another retailer on J M Road said as far as he understood the new tax regime, the products available with him would not be taxed. “We are selling the available stock at the same rate we were selling them on Friday,” he said, adding, “We will get to know in the coming days whether there is an increase in prices”. The shopkeepers, however, seem to be aware about registration under GST. “Small retailers who have a turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh need no registration. Those who have a turnover of Rs 50 lakh can avail benefits of the composition scheme where tax can be paid at 1 per cent of the sales value,” said M Chordia, another retailer.
Chaudhary said the threshold limit for registration under GST, for retailers, has been increased from the existing limit of Rs 5-15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh . “This is a positive development for small shopkeepers,” he said.
Retailers said they have been in touch with their chartered accountants, who have clarified some of their doubts, but they said they were waiting for more details. “We have been asked to maintain records of each and every document. We have been told to pay more attention on record keeping. It seems that we will have to be extra careful,” said Chaudhary.
A retailer added that under GST, buying from unregistered dealers has been strictly prohibited.