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Prices at grocery shops will not change till August end, despite GST

Hyderabad: Your neighbourhood grocery stores will not alter any prices of general provisions on Saturday when the new Goods and Services Tax makes its debut in the supermarkets. Provision stores will continue to sell consumer goods at the old MRP rates printed on the products until they get a new stock with a new price.

Food items and groceries have been placed in the lowest tax slab of 0 to 5 percent, which will decrease their prices, but there will be no change in pricing at least till August-end as the government has exempted traders from filing online returns for July and August so that they have time to get ready for the new tax system, reports DC.

Supermarkets and shopping malls will be charging the bills as per the new GST tax rates from July 1. Major retail chains have advertised ‘GST Muhurat Shopping’ on day one of the GST launches with discounts ranging from two to 22 percent.

Electronics showrooms are offering up to 50 percent off on TVs, mobiles, laptops, air conditioners etc as their stock clearance.

The distributor of a major FMCG company said, “Consumer goods companies are not for having two price tags of pre-GST and post-GST. They have inventories on which old MRP rates are already printed, which will last for at least three to six weeks. Moreover, they are not sure of the exact impact of GST on the raw materials they purchase. So they want to wait till mid-August to assess the exact impact and revise MRP rates and supply new stocks from September.”

Secretary of commercial taxes Somesh Kumar said, “Our initial focus will be on establishing and streamlining the GST system. The Centre too has given relaxation for traders to file online returns for two months. If we suddenly tighten the norms during the transition period, it may lead to unnecessary trouble. We will give time for traders to adapt to the GST regime. But from September, the GST norms will be tightened and any deviation will not be accepted.”