The government on Friday, following the changes being put in effect on GST rates on about 200 items, allowed companies to paste a price sticker on packaged products to reflect new maximum retail price (MRP) until December. GST was rolled out on July 1 following which companies were asked to paste new price stickers on packaged commodities to reflect the new maximum retail price (MRP) until September. The deadline was later extended until December. The permission to paste additional price stickers was given under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in a statement said, GST rates have been reduced on some products and therefore the ministry has given the permission to “affix an additional sticker or stamping or online printing for declaring the reduced MRP on the pre-packaged commodity.” Notably, the new price sticker has to be pasted on the product along with the old MRP.

Manufacturers have time until December this year to declare the new reduced prices, he added. “This relaxation will also be applicable in the case of unsold stocks manufactured/ packed/imported after July 1, 2017, where the MRP would reduce due to the reduction in the rate of GST post-July 1, 2017,” the statement said.

The GST Council earlier on November 10, shifted as many as 178 commodities from the top bracket of 28 percent to the new 18 percent bracket. Interestingly, in a major switch, the GST rate on restaurants was shifted from the earlier bracket of 18 percent to the new five percent bracket, for both AC and non-AC restaurants. To ensure GST cuts are passed on to consumers, Paswan had recently directed state legal officers to check if companies are pasting the new MRP stickers.

Meanwhile, during the GST Council meet Finance and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said, “Filing of return for 3B will be continued until March. All taxpayers will continue to file 3B until March 2018. If there is a nil return to be filed then late filing penalty will be reduced to Rs 20. For others it has been reduced to Rs 50”.

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