A four member standing committee, comprising tax officials of the Centre and states, has been set up to receive complaints of undue profiteering by any entity under the new goods and services tax (GST) regime.
The standing committee on antiprofiteering will act asacomplaint processing machinery and will refer any cases it finds fit for investigation to the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS).
The setting up of the panel, with two officials of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and one each from Delhi and Haryana tax department, sets in motion the antiprofiteering clause under the GST.
CBEC officials Himanshu Gupta, Principal Commissioner, GST Delhi andOPDadhich, principal, commissioner Customs (preventive) Delhi, as alsoHRajesh Prasad, commissioner (sales tax), Delhi, and Ashima Brar, excise and taxation commissioner, Haryana, are members of the committee, according to an official order.
The antiprofiteering mechanism was proposed to enable the benefit of lower taxation in the GST with the subsuming of overadozen central and state taxes like excise duty, service tax and valueadded tax and end to taxontax, is passed on to consumers.
Businesses or entities not passing on the benefit can be referred to the committee.
The detailed procedure for approaching the committees will be announced soon, officials said.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had last week said that the government has notified the ´standing committee´ comprising four officers —two each from the Centre and states —but the names of the officers were not in public domain.
According to the structure of the antiprofiteering mechanism in the GST regime, complaints which are of local nature would be first sent to the statelevel ´screening committee´, while those of national level would be sent to the ´standing committee´.
If the complaints have merit, then the respective committees would refer the cases for further investigation to the DGS.
The DGS would generally take about three months to complete the investigation and send the report to the antiprofiteering authority.
Although, the members of the antiprofiteering authority, to be headed byasecretarylevel officer with four joint secretaryrank officers as members, are yet to be finalised, Adhia had said adding that the authority would be in place by the time the DGS investigation on the complaints is complete.
The GST was rolled out from July 1 and the government has advised businesses to pass on the benefit of any cost reduction to buyers.
The Business Standard, New Delhi, 14th September 2017
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