Though the pre-GST talk led to a lot of anxiety among the common people, relief is palpable now as one’s own experience of purchasing this month’s grocery after the payday and the difference in overall cost shows.
The positive impact of the GST is being seen at the local supermarkets where unpacked or unbranded food grains and flours are bought by the majority of the public.
This is despite the fact that traders are still confused over their profits and losses. They believe that things will become clear for them in a month.
“Prices of many items like food grains, atta, maida and others have come down. We could see a decrease of at least ₹50 to ₹100 on the final bill,” said A. Koteswara Rao who bought grocery at a supermarket near Siddhartha Nagar.
“The overall burden on an average customer has come down to some extent. One can save about ₹3 to 4 on a kilogramme of rice and other grains. This is also benefiting a large number of the kirana store keepers who buy the unpacked items in bulk,” said K. Vijay Kumar, a distributor and owner of a supermarket.
“But we are forced to sell the old stock, which was taxed earlier, with no tax now. Also, the taxes on some fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) have gone up and customers are benefiting by buying them at older prices. We could not hike the prices beyond the MRP,” he added.
To avoid the confusion, most of the traders are issuing manual bills unless the buyers insist on system generated billing.
However, the price cut in the unpacked food grains is hardly helping the non-AC restaurants and hotels and their customers since the tax was increased from 5% to 12%.
“We can get the raw material at cheaper prices. That benefit is minute when compared to the loss we face due to the hike in the prices of the food items. We sell a plate of idly at ₹30 including 5% tax. Now the tax on it is 12%. If I increase the price, customers will prefer roadside vendors who have already become famous. If I bear the burden, I would incur loss,” said the owner of a famous chain of tiffin and fast food eateries.
“Right now we are continuing the old prices as there is no other option. Only after a month, we would get a clear picture,” he added.
Meanwhile, sales of electronic goods came down due to the higher tax and also because people had bought products before the GST had come into effect. People visiting the large restaurant chains like the KFC, Dominos and others are saving only a fraction of the bill amount as the tax came down slightly. Sales of cars and motorcycles are going at normal pace, according to dealers.