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Eateries struggle to get GST bill format right, leave patrons fuming
 
(Mumbai,Jan 27, 2017):A day after the midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), several restaurants were on Sunday struggling to get the GST bill format right. While some eateries issued receipts to customers with no GST number, some gave wrong number. There were also complaints about some places still charging several taxes, instead of just the GST.

In one such case on Saturday, a customer informed the GST officials that when he went to a store of a popular food chain in Bandra, the receipt he got had no mention of the GST number, which is a must. In another case at a mall in Kurla, the store of a popular food chain charged a customer GST, but the receipt had only the CIN or challan number (See pics of both receipts in graphic).

While the eatery insisted that the CIN printed on the bill is their GST number, officials said the number was 'bogus'. The GST number should start with a two-digit state code, followed by a 10-digit PAN of the seller and then three digits generated by GST system during registration.

GST officials received several such complaints on Sunday. However, they said they won't crack down immediately but direct such establishments to follow the rules. Establishments must issue receipts showing the GST number as well as the amount collected, and then update the amount collected on the GST website at the end of the day or fortnight or month. A club in south Mumbai said they are GST compliant, but due to technical issues they are yet to start printing GST number on their receipts. It will be completed in a few days, the club said.

Officials said that as of now they would guide the establishments to follow the rules and become GST compliant. An official said, "Establishments dealing in low-priced products can update consolidated data at the end of the day. But they need to provide GST number printed bill to customers and also keep record of the sales."

Even retail stores of MNCs seemed to be faltering. A customer who went to a footwear store in R City Mall in Ghatkopar said he was charged more than the MRP. "The MRP was Rs 4,499. They were offering 50% discount. I should have been charged Rs 2,250, but they collected Rs 2,649 saying GST is extra," the customer, Himanshu Jain, told TOI. "The MRP is supposed to be inclusive of all taxes," he added.

Outside the malls, some kirana shops remained closed for half a day. At a Nature's Basket outlet in south Mumbai, the customer inflow was sparse even as they continued to sell stocks at old prices. At Ankur Store in Andheri, people were seen buying lesser quantity of butter as they wait for the lower prices to come. Several chemist shops that were shut for two days opened on Sunday. A Matunga chemist said he still doesn't have a GST number so he is issuing manual bills. "I am incurring losses everyday so we decided to reopen the shop," he said. Ranjit Ranawat, proprietor of Red Rose Chemist, said not all his shops have managed to migrate to the new tax regime. "We too are issuing manual bills. If we want to upgrade the entire stock list, it will take us at least five days," he said.


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