As consumers go appliance-shopping this festival season, what’s immediately apparent to most is that the GST rate cut has not translated into lower prices. In July, the GST Council brought down the tax rate on various product categories — including home appliances, televisions and paints — from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. According to an online poll of over 15,000 consumers conducted by Local Circles, only 20 per cent of the respondents said the benefits of lower GST rates had been passed on to consumers by consumer durable firms. Of this, just 7 per cent said the entire benefit had been passed on; the balance 13 per cent felt only partial benefits had passed on to consumers.
Nearly 47 per cent said none of the benefits had been passed on, as the companies increased the base prices of the products. Around 33 per cent said they were unsure. Respondents had expressed similar views on the GST rate cut on FMCG products that was introduced in November 2017. Local Circles conducted the poll to gauge responses from its members on GST benefits being passed on, especially from those who are part of the ‘anti-profiteering circle’ on the platform. The community has been established by the National Anti-Profiteering Authority on Local Circles to get consumer feedback.