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GST anti-profiteering authority to aid consumer confidence


The proposed anti-profiteering authority under the GST will bolster consumer confidence and ensure that the intended benefits of the new indirect tax regime reach the common man, the finance ministry said today. 
A selection committee under the chairmanship of the cabinet secretary has been set up to select eligible persons for appointment as the chairman and members of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority under the Goods and Services Tax. 
The proposed authority will have the responsibility to ensure that the full benefits of a reduction in tax on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers. 
"The constitution of the National Anti-profiteering Authority is expected to bolster consumer confidence and ensure all stakeholders reap the intended benefits of the GST," the finance ministry said in a statement. 
The authority shall be responsible for applying anti- profiteering measures in the event of a reduction in rate of the GST on supply of goods or services or, if the benefit of input tax credit is not passed on to the recipients by way of commensurate reduction in prices. 
Headed by a secretary-level officer, the authority shall have four technical members from the Centre and/or the states. 
Any complain of profiteering shall be examined by a standing committee. However, if the application relates to a local matter which the business is located in only one state, it shall be first examined by a state level screening committee, the ministry said. 
The standing committee is empowered to refer the cases requiring detailed enquiry to Director General of Safeguards, CBEC who shall give his recommendation for consideration of the National Anti-profiteering Authority. 
"In the event the National Anti-profiteering Authority confirms the necessity of applying anti-profiteering measures, it has the power to order the business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed along with the interest to the recipient of the goods or services," the ministry said. 
If the undue benefit cannot be passed on to the recipient, it can be ordered to be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund. In extreme cases, the National Anti-profiteering Authority can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST, it added. 
The Business Standard, New Delhi, 26th July 2017

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