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Mumbaiites beware, here’s how shopkeepers may take advantage of your confusion over GST

Mumbai city news: Since consumers will take time to understand all that GST entails, marketers will try to cash in on their confusion, say sources

mumbai Updated: Jul 02, 2017 00:56 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Goods and Services Tax,GST
The legal metrology department anticipates short delivery — instances of retailers delivering fewer items that requested and then blaming GST.(HT File Photo)

Don’t let unscrupulous shopkeepers in Mumbai take advantage of any doubts you may have about the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to charge you more than the maximum retail price (MRP) of a product.

Sources in the legal metrology department (LMD) said that since consumers will take time to understand all that GST entails, hoarders and marketers will try to cash in on their confusion.

To prevent a possible spurt in the overpricing of retail goods by greedy retailers, seven regional units of the LMD have been put on maximum alert , Amitabh Gupta, LMD controller, Maharashtra told HT.

“Our people are alert. If we come across retailers trying to sell packaged commodities at higher rates than the MRP, strict action will be initiated against the person and his establishment,’ Gupta said.

“Retailers are more likely to take advantage of those living in rural areas, compared to urban pockets, where consumers are more aware. That is why we concentrate more on rural areas,” sources said.

Here’s how you can guard against being duped:

How you can register complaints
  • Mumbai: Call 022-24148494, e-mail, WhatsApp 9004435101
  • Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg: Call 022-27574074, e-mail, WhatsApp 9004435101.
  • Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur: Call 022-26697232, e-mail, WhatsApp 7588132176.
  • Nashik, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon: Call 0253-2455696, e-mail, WhatsApp 9422252400.
  • Aurangabad, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad: Call 0240-2339656, e-mail, WhatsApp 7588554400.
  • Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Washim: Call 0721-2663291, e-mail, WhatsApp 9422258800.
  • Nagpur, Wardha, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondia: Call 0712-2540292, e-mail, WhatsApp 9404951828.

If a shopkeeper tries to charge you more than the item’s MRP of a product, saying GST is to blame, lodge a complaint with the legal metrology department (LMD) from anywhere in Maharashtra.

You can register a complaint on the LMD’s Facebook page — Legal Metrology Maharashtra Consumer Grievances — over its WhatsApp number—9869691666, via e-mail — — or by simply calling the control room — 022-22622022.

The LMD also anticipates short delivery — instances of retailers delivering fewer items that requested and then blaming GST. This happens when items are sold loosely. Common examples are cigarettes, petrol, or even sweets. “Consumers should call our helplines if they find themselves in such a situation,” said a senior LMD official.

In cases of overpricing and short delivery, the LMD initiates action against the offender under rule 18 of the Package Commodities Rules, 2011, of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. The offender is fined Rs2,000. His premises are seized until he pays up.

Between January and May this year, the LMD has booked 319 people for overpricing. Retailers at stadia, airports and theatres were among those held. As many as 142 cases of short delivery were registered during this period. The LMD cracked down on several petrol pumps.

Apart from centralised helplines, consumers can also lodge complaints over regional helplines.

First Published: Jul 01, 2017 11:25 IST