FMCG firms slash prices after govt fiat
City: 
HUL, ITC, Dabur and Marico cut product prices to pass on GST rate cut benefits

Major FMCG companies like HUL, ITC, Dabur and Marico on Tuesday said they have cut prices of various products to pass on the benefits of GST rate reduction to end-consumers.

The companies said they will extend the price reduction to other categories, which have also seen tax rate cuts. The development comes a day after the government asked the firms to pass on lower GST rates to consumers.

The GST rate was reduced on 178 items, including detergents, shampoos and beauty products, from 28 per cent to 18 per cent from November 15.

An HUL spokesperson said: "We have reduced price for Bru Gold coffee from Rs 145 to Rs 111 on a 50 gm pack. Any further price changes will be communicated in due course."

HUL remains committed to passing on the benefits of GST reduction to the consumers, the spokesperson said.

"ITC has modified the price of its relevant products keeping in mind the applicable rates under the recent GST notification," a company spokesperson said.

Likewise, Marico CFO Vivek Karve said the company has effected MRP reductions on products across categories such as deodorants, hair gels, hair creams, body care, etc.

"While the new production shifts to new reduced MRP immediately, we are passing on the benefits on existing stocks either through stickering the products with reduced MRP or by providing additional discounts to our trade channel partners," he said.

Karve further said the company has also sent out communication to its partners to pass on the benefit of reduced taxes to the consumers.

Earlier in the day, Dabur India said it has cut prices of existing stocks across categories such as shampoos, skin care and home care by 9 per cent.

The company said it had also revised the MRP of fresh production with immediate effect which will hit the shelves by next month.

A Patanjali spokesperson said: "The benefits must be transferred to the customers. We are evaluating the quantum of decrease."

ON Monday, CBEC chairperson Vanaja Sarna in a letter to all major FMCG companies had pointed out the need to immediately revise the MRP on all the products for which the tax reductions have been announced by the GST Council.

GST rates on a number of items have also been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent and from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

Items on which tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent include chewing gum, chocolates, coffee, custard powder, dental hygiene products, polishes, creams, after-shave, deodorant, detergent and washing power, razors and blades and batteries, goggles, wrist watches, mattress.

The tax rate on condensed milk, refined sugar, pasta curry paste, diabetic food, and bamboo/cane furniture has been cut from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.

The top tax rate of 28 per cent is now restricted to 50 items, including white goods, cement, paints, luxury and demerit goods like pan masala, aerated water and beverages, cigars and cigarettes, and tobacco products.

(With inputs from PTI)