Post GST, complaints of overcharging rise
By Christin Mathew Philip | Express News Service | Published: 18th July 2017 09:22 AM |
BENGALURU: With complaints pouring in over products being sold above MRP citing GST, the state legal metrology department on Saturday issued notices to more than 700 manufacturers in the state asking them to print revised prices on unsold and new products.
The department also asked manufacturers to communicate post-GST rates and advertise them in newspapers to create awareness among consumers. Legal metrology officials said they are also forwarding GST-related MRP violation cases and action-taken report to the Centre on a daily basis.
Sarala Nair, assistant legal metrology controller, said, “We have a database of over 700 manufacturers in the state. We are waiting for their responses on the new rate post GST rollout. We will also communicate to the remaining manufacturers in the next few days. Action will be initiated against those who are fleecing customers in the name of GST.”
She said they receive an average of five complaints on overcharging. “There is confusion among customers and shopkeepers because of price differences after GST came into effect on July 1. It’s illegal to sell products above MRP under Packaged Commodities Rules.”
The Centre recently allowed to display revised MRP (post-GST) sticker along with old MRP (pre-GST) in the unsold pre-packed items manufactured or imported till September this year. However, this is applicable to commodities that were manufactured before July 2017. The guideline also said the difference between the original and revised MRPs should not be more than the GST rate of a product.
Y G Muralidhar, convener, Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust (CREAT), an NGO, said, “I received several complaints from customers against retailers selling products above MRP after GST. Some products are being sold without any MRP stickers, particularly in shopping malls and supermarkets. The legal metrology department should intensify checks and take action against such violations.”
“We have also formed 10 squads to conduct surprise inspections across the state. We have initiated inspections across the state since Saturday,” said Nair.
The legal metrology department is also planning to launch a mobile app on the lines of Tamil Nadu to enable consumers to register complaints like MRP violations. “There is a proposal to come up with an app for customers to lodge complaints,” said Nair.
For complaints, consumers can now contact Karnataka state legal metrology department by visiting www.emapan.karnataka.gov.in or call 080-2253500, 2260554 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.