Monthly household costs up after GST? You are not alone, 54 per cent have the same complaint -Prabhash K Dutta

-India Today

After demonetisation, GST could be another headache for the government. According to a survey conducted on completion of two months of GST, 54 per cent people complained about rising monthly household costs.

In a series of online surveys, conducted by a citizen grievances portal having a tie-up with the consumer affairs department of the central government, one in every two persons has reported a rise in household costs after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out in July. The surveys received over 40,000 cumulative responses for various questions asked on the completion of two months of GST rollout.

As it looks, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has turned into a major headache for the government after demonetisation. The state finance ministers raised a plethora of issues related to the implementation of the tax reform at the GST Council meet in Hyderabad.

Some of the issues were addressed at the GST Council meet. But, the rising prices on account of the GST may come back to haunt the government as it readies for the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT?

About 54 per cent people, in a survey conducted by consumer engagement platform LocalCircles, said that their monthly household expenditure had increased after GST rollout by upto 30 per cent. Much against the government's anticipation, only six per cent of more than 9,000 respondents said their monthly expenditure had come down.

About 51 per cent of the participants in the LocalCircles survey said their monthly food and grocery bills had increased by upto 30 per cent after the implementation of the GST. Only seven per cent reported decrease in their monthly food and grocery bill.

A little less than half of the respondents in the survey said that their monthly medical also went up after GST rollout. Among other complaints of the consumers were the traders' insistence on cash payment and refusal to raise GST invoice.

Some of the consumers also complained that the traders charged GST over and above the MRP (maximum retail price) while some other shopkeepers were reported to have cut down on the discounts, citing uncertainty about the GST's impact on their business.

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India Today, 11 September, 2017, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/goods-and-services-tax-gst-household-cost-input-tax-credit/1/1045383.html

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