New Delhi, June 20, 2017

FinMin notifies rules for the body

The Finance Ministry on Tuesday notified the Anti-Profiteering Authority, which would check any undue increase in prices of products by companies under the Goods and Services Tax.

The rules for the authority, which would operate for a period of two years, were approved by the GST Council an its meeting on June 18. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that he hoped the provision for an anti-profiteering authority will act as a deterrent and the government does not intend to use it unless forced to.

It will work in a three-tier structure: a Standing Committee on Anti-profiteering as well as State-level Screening Committees. The National Anti-Profiteering Authority would consist of five members, including a Chairman.

“The Authority may determine the methodology and procedure for determination as to whether the reduction in rate of tax on the supply of goods or services or the benefit of input tax credit has been passed on by the registered person to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices,” said the rules by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Within two months of receiving an application, the Standing Committee would examine it and send it to the State level Screening Committee. Based on its recommendations, the Director General of Safeguards would investigate the complaint in a period of three months.

If found to have merit, the complaint would then be forwarded to the authority. It would pass its order within three months. “An opportunity of hearing shall be granted to the interested parties by the Authority where any request is received in writing from such interested parties,” said the rules.

The authority will have the power to make the company reduce its prices and refund the money to the consumer along with an interest of 18 per cent or deposit it in the Consumer Welfare Fund. It can also impose a penalty and cancel the registration of the company.

[The Hindu Business Line]