File photo: Sushil Kumar Modi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also heads a five-member panel on Goods and Services Tax Network, today suggested that the maximum retail price (MRP) of a product should always be inclusive of tax for the convenience of the consumers.
The deputy CM was interacting with businessmen at a function organised by Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries in association with a leading Hindi daily 'Hindustan'.
"We (GoM) have suggested the inclusion of GST in maximum retail price. It has been seen across the globe that consumers react when they have to pay tax in addition to a product's price but they usually do not mind paying the MRP when it is inclusive of tax," he said.
Sharing his experiences abroad, he said the situation was no different in Canada, Australia and Singapore.
"Even in Canada, Australia and Singapore, consumers' perception changed when they had to pay tax in addition to a product's price. The same consumers react differently when they were asked to pay a particular percentage of tax that had already been included in the price tag," he said.
GST is a gigantic reform and people may face teething problems for the first five to six months but things will get smoother in due course of time, he said.
Stating that a firm having a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore would now have to file quarterly returns instead of monthly, he said, "We are making efforts to implement this process of quarterly returns for the businessmen. They will have to deposit tax every month but returns can be filed quarterly."
He said that he also wanted the form for filing returns to be simplified further.
Making it clear that no state was entitled to take a decision on its own regarding taxes, Sushil Modi said that he wanted the quantum of fee for filing returns late -Rs 200 per day with a maximum cap of Rs 5,000 -to be reduced.
He also heard suggestions and grievances of the traders, in the presence of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries president P K Agrawal, central GST commissioner of Patna Ranjit Kumar, and appealed to the lawyers and the chartered accountants to rationally charge them.
The deputy CM said that he would hold sector-specific meetings with the businessmen before the next GST council meeting.