Hyderabad: If you can't find some of your favorite products in the super markets and stores, it’s probably because the manufacturers and dealers of the products are yet to get their GST numbers. According to officials at the commercial tax department, over 2 lakh traders have enrolled into the GST network but there are many who still have to finish the formalities.
“Big companies have already enrolled, it is the smaller companies that are still in the process of filing as per the procedures,” said Mr Somesh Kumar, secretary at the Central Tax department, Telangana.
“As per present rules, all sellers can continue to sell their products in the market till July 31 which essentially means that stores should be getting uninterrupted stock. The stores may probably, of their own accord, be filtering out non-compliant companies,” said a tax department official.
If the departmental stores purchase a product from a non GST seller, the tax liability will be on the stores. “They would not have to pay extra but the procedure becomes more tedious and the store has to bear the burden,” said another GST official.
The supermarkets may also find it difficult to restock inventories fast enough after the mass clearance in June. Again, GST may have had an indirect impact as well with traders being in a rush to sell off old stock at old tax rates. “The situation would soon be in favour of consumers as people will get used to GST,” says Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All Indian Traders.
Consumers have also reported instances where loose unpacked products were not being sold at GST rates. Cashew nuts and raisins especially, which are slated to get cheaper with a 5 per cent tax slab are being sold loose to cash in on old high rates.
But in this entire bargain, tax evasion and consumer welfare are both being taken care of. “We are not going after the markets and traders aggressively, because it’s a new system and they need time to adjust to it. But by July 31, whoever doesn’t comply with the new setup will be out of the network making it difficult for them to sell their products without being noticed,” said Mr Somesh. He also added that consumers must inform the department in case of discrepancies in billing....