There was hardly a company in India, that did not cheer the passing of the Goods and Services Tax in the Parliament last year. GST anti-profiteering authorities are set up with the powers of assessing whether a company passed on lower prices on account of the GST to customers.
As the date of enactment of the new centralized tax regime came close there is a provision in the law that is threatening the business community in the country. The GST law, once applicable from 1 July, would come into force with an GST anti-profiteering clause, which could be used to debar a company from doing business in case it is found not passing on the benefits accrued due to GST to the customer.The Union Cabinet approved of setting up of the proposed National Anti-profiteering Authority under the goods and services tax – GST to ensure consumers get the benefit of lower taxes under the new indirect tax regime. The decision came a day after the reduction in the GST rate on over 200 items came into force.
GST – The Biggest Revamp Tax Structure
In the biggest revamp of the GST tax structure, the GST Council last week removed 178 items from the highest 28 per cent category while cutting the tax on all restaurants outside starred-hotels to 5 % but withdrawing input credit facility for them.
The facility of input tax credit for restaurants was being withdrawn as they had not passed on this benefit to consumers, the government said.
Only 50 products, including luxury and sin items, white goods, cement and paints, automobiles, aeroplane and yacht parts have been retained in the top 28 % slab.
GST Anti-Profiteering Body Finally Gets Approval
Under GST regime, the traders and businesses are reverting back with input tax credit in their respective account and this is how cascading effects go away from our indirect tax system. So it is the responsibility of traders and businesses to share their profit earned from ITC with common people in terms of reduced prices but traders are taking advantage of it and not letting avail the benefit of GST to consumers.
It is expected from the businesses to reduce the prices of goods accordingly and share the ITC benefits with the common people. If the trader is doing profiteering and the benefit is not reaching to the common man, then the anti-profiteering organization will take strict action to reduce this type of activities. The state government has organized a state level investigation agency, where anybody can file the complaints. After investigating the complaint at the state level, the organization will inform to the national level anti-profiteering organization, and traders and companies involved in this matter will be processed.
GST Anti-Profiteering Provisions
This paves the way for the immediate establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority -NAA which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices. The NAA is to be headed by a union government Secretary-level officer with four technical members from the Centre and/or the states
The anti-profiteering measures are designed to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.
Government Order For GST Anti-Profiteering
If in case, the manufacturer of trader is not obedient to the rules, then the National Anti Profiteering Authority can order for certain rules and provision nationwide i.e.
- Price Decrease announcement
- Benefit with 18 % interest
- Licence cancellation of faulty manufacturer
The consumer can file his complaint to the committee and if the nature and effect of the complaint are nationwide than the Standing committee must be contacted while if in case the nature and effect of the complaint are on the regional level than the State screening committee will take a decision on the concerned matter.
Why Should You Care?
If a super-market near your house, is selling you grocery at a higher price stating that it is due to GST, you can file a complaint to the anti-profiteering authority. Similarly if you are aware that the cost of your toothpaste has moved lower, but your grocery-wallah tries to pull a fast one on you by selling it to you at the old price, you know whom to complain to.
GST Anti-profiteering will act as a tool that the Centre needs to wield effectively to keep prices under check and ensure that businesses do not pocket all the gains.
Making profit is good, profiteering is not. Don’t let someone profiteer at your expense.
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