The original and revised MRP tags will have to be placed on all products manufactured before July. Illustration/ Ravi Jadhav

The next time you pick up a packaged item from your nearby retail store and are asked to pay more than the MRP – on account of Goods and Services Tax (GST) – make sure you don't pay a rupee extra. The Legal Metrology Organisation (LMO) has laid out a fresh set of guidelines to end the confusion over implementation of GST on products manufactured before July 2017.

To avoid confusion, every old product will have to compulsory have two price tags – the original and revised MRP.

Ever since the implementation of the GST, several customers had complained of retailers overcharging them for packaged commodities that did not include the new tax in the MRP. The issue was mostly with goods that were manufactured before the GST came into force on July 1.

While the Government of India had suggested placing a new sticker with the revised MRP on such products, LMO has issued a set of new guidelines to bring further clarity on the issue.

Accordingly, no customer should pay anything more than the MRP, if there is a single retail sale price on the product. If a separate sticker has been placed, the original MRP should continue to be displayed alongside the revised price tag. Also, the difference between the original and revised MRPs should not be more than the percentage of GST allowed for the particular commodity. The guideline also asks customers to ensure that the revised MRP is charged only on commodities manufactured before July 2017.

Thereafter, there is no need for a separate price sticker. Customers can also contact LMO on 022-22226220/22, if anybody is found breaching the rules.

Every product manufactured before July 1 must have two price tags – the original and revised MRP. Pic/ Getty Images

Amitabh Gupta, controller of LMO, said, "These guidelines have been issued to create more awareness among consumers about GST and packaged items. The Government of India has permitted manufacturers of pre-packaged commodities to declare the changed retail price on unsold stock by stamping or placing a new price. Hence, it is important to issue guidelines for customers."
Shubhada Chaukar, member of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, said, "The GST is still new and there is confusion among customers and retailers. These guidelines will help bring greater clarity."