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File photo of consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who announced that on packaged commodities the industry can display revised MRP due to GST implementation till 31 December. Photo: Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times
File photo of consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who announced that on packaged commodities the industry can display revised MRP due to GST implementation till 31 December. Photo: Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times

Pre-GST goods can be sold till 31 December: Ram Vilas Paswan

As several companies and traders have huge unsold stocks of pre-GST goods , the government extended the deadline to sell them by three months till December-end

New Delhi: The government on Friday allowed businesses and traders to sell their stock pre-dating 1 July, when the goods and service tax (GST) was implemented, until 31 December with stickers showing the revised price, taking into account the tax changes.

The relief comes after manufacturers, traders and the industry sought more time to exhaust their pre-GST stock, said a statement from the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

The earlier deadline, announced on 7 July by consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, was 30 September.

Paswan had on that day clarified that pasting stickers with revised prices on pre-July stock will not amount to a breach of any rule.

The minister came up with that clarification as packaged consumer goods companies were worried that they may violate the norms of the Legal Metrology Organisation, the department that oversees weights, measures and price displays on packs.

According to these, stickers aren’t allowed on top of the maximum retail price (MRP) displayed on packaging, and tampering with MRP is an offence.

Friday’s statement by the consumer affairs ministry stipulates that the revised price shall not exceed what is warranted by an increase in the effective tax rate. To ensure that, businesses have to take into account not just the GST rate but also the benefit of any extra tax rebate available to them.

“The declaration of new maximum retail price on unsold stock manufactured, packed or imported prior to 1 July should not be done mechanically but after factoring in extra availability of input tax credit under GST," said the statement.

The finance ministry separately said in a statement that the three-month extension has been granted in response to requests by industry.

Earlier in the day, GSTN, the company that processes tax returns, allowed businesses to change or update their core and non-core business information filed earlier, something that industry had been finding difficult to do.

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