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National Anti-profiteering Authority

 

The Government approves in cabinet meeting the establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST, after sharp reduction in the GST rates of many of items of mass consumption on 15th November, 2017. This paves the way for the immediate establishment of this apex body, which is mandated to make sure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the final consumers by way of a reduction in prices.




The establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), 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, is one more measure aimed at reassuring consumers that Government is fully committed to take all possible steps to make sure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.

It may be recalled that effective from midnight of 14th November, 2017 the GST rate has been slashed from 28% to 18% on goods falling under 178 headings. There are now only 50 items which attract the GST rate of 28%. Likewise, many of items have witnessed a reduction in GST rates from 18% to 12% and so on and some goods have been completely exempt from GST.

The “anti-profiteering” measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to make sure 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 National Anti-profiteering Authority  (NAA), a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).

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 National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA).




In the event the National Anti-profiteering Authority (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. 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 NAA can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST.

The constitution of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) shall bolster confidence of consumers as they reap the benefits of the recent reduction in GST rates, in particular, and of GST, in general.

Sources: Pib.nic.in


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