November 18, 2017
The Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday has given a green signal for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST.
The Authority’s object is to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices.
The establishment of the NAA is to be headed by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India with four Technical Members from the Centre and/or the States.
The “anti-profiteering” measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers. This institutional framework comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
Consumers to approach the Screening Committee– Affected consumers who feel the benefit of commensurate reduction in prices is not being passed on when they purchase any goods or services may apply for relief to the Screening Committee in the particular State. However, in case the incident of profiteering relates to an item of mass impact with ‘All India’ ramification, the application may be directly made to the Standing Committee. After forming a prima facie view that there is an element of profiteering, the Standing Committee shall refer the matter for detailed investigation to the Director General of Safeguards, CBEC, which shall report its findings to the NAA.
In the event the NAA confirms there is a necessity to apply anti-profiteering measures, it has the authority to order the supplier / business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed by it along with interest to the recipient of the goods or services.
The establishment of NAA is a welcome move and would be a great relief for consumers who are perplexed with the recent implementation of GST.
On November 14, the GST rate had been slashed from 28% to 18% on goods falling under 178 headings and now there are 50 items which attract the GST rate of 28%.