Upholding requests and demands of manufacturers, packers and importers of pre-packaged commodities to extend the permission to declare revised maximum retail price (MRP) on food products, Ram Vilas Paswan, minister of Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs has extended the deadline for compliance till December 2017, giving a three-month period to affected stakeholders.

This is the second extension allowed by the ministry in the case of MRP declaration. Earlier it was extended for a period of three months from July 2017 to September 2017. As mentioned earlier and as clarified by the ministry, the declaration of the revised MRP must be formulated by way of stamping, pasting a stamp or online printing it on the package. The use of unexhausted packaging material or wrappers was also permitted up to 30 September, after making the necessary corrections.

Considering this as a final extension, an official from the ministry stated, “We had received several requests from organizations and companies for extending this deadline for 6 months but considering faster implementation of GST, we have allowed an extension of 3 more months to be able to sell the produce that they have in the market. Considering the festive season, it will not be difficult for businesses to sell off their old stocks.”

He also commended the move by the government, adding that the government is also upholding industrygovernment relationships for a better economy and business module,
where both will have their own identities to build a responsible and powerful economy.

CAIT demands for more time

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) reacted saying that GST was another blow likely to befall the traders, urging Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to extend the date to 31 March 2018. The organization claimed, “Goods worth about Rs 6 lakh crore may become redundant if the last date of using MRP-labelled old stock is not extended beyond 30 September.” With the implementation of GST in July 2017, it was provided that on 30 June 2017, stocks having mandatory MRP labelling could be sold only up to September 30 by sticking new MRP stickers, and from 1 October 2017, only packed goods bearing a
newly printed MRP could be sold. There is a mandatory provision under the Packaged Commodity Act that any commodity in a packaged shape will invariably have a printed MRP. It is estimated that goods pertaining to the period prior to July worth about Rs 9 lakh crore are still available in markets across the country, and out of this, goods worth about Rs 6 lakh crore are in a packaged condition having MRP.

If the date was not extended, it would have left an adverse impact on the manufacturing sector, hampering economic growth to a great extent. CAIT’s plea was given a nod by the
government, which extended the duration to comply with the new norms, making the situation smooth for businesses across the country.

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