HYDERABAD: Confusion prevailed at certain stores on Sunday, just a day after the new GST regime rolled out. While some stores shut down to update their computer systems for a few hours on Saturday, some others had no choice but to let customers in. A female resident of Kondapur, who visits a grocery store once a week, said it was chaotic as store had only one functional billing counter. While some of the salespersons were rearranging products and entering product details manually on inventory checklists, the situation was out of control.
SCOPE FOR CHEATING
Non-updated database gave scope for the retailers to use the revised tax rate to their advantage. “They had to use dummy bills to do the billing. I bought a Lifebuoy Handwash that cost `82 on Sunday. The product was unavailable on their database. It could be that the change in price did not reflect on their system and they punched a `10 chocolates eight times,” said 28-year-old Sindhu Sree. The difference in tax rate between this chocolate which is 28 per cent and handwash, which falls in the 18 per cent category, works in favour of retailer.
On the other hand, certain mobile retailers in the city, in a bid to clear out stocks purchased prior to July 1, were also spotted producing bills dated June 30, duping customers. “We have not yet updated our systems and we are generating bills pre-dated to June 30. It will take time until we have all our billing structures updated,” said a sales executive from Aptronix at Begumpet. Tax expert from KPMG, Santosh Dalvi, said, “They have to charge tax as per the GST. If he is using an older invoice, then he is duping the customers. The idea behind that is to clear his inventory on which he cannot claim input tax credit post GST regime.” There is a need for customer awareness, he added.
On the other hand, some retailers were left with no choice but to incur losses and clear out their inventory and sell it as per the new tax system. “We are still offering our products at Pre-GST MRP, while the billing is generated with GST. The process is to clear our inventory,” said Sohail Ahmed, branch manager, LOT Mobiles, Begumpet.