India’s anti-profiteering framework may remain in place for another two years as the country eyes more changes to the goods and services tax (GST) structure. Aimed at protecting consumer interest under GST, it was initially meant to be in place for two years. Discussions have begun and a decision is expected soon after a new government is in place at the Centre, a senior official aware of the development told ET. At the top of the watchdog framework is the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA). “There is a thinking that the National Anti-profiteering Authority’s tenure be extended,” the official said, adding that there are a number of cases that need to be resolved. Besides, another official said, complaints keep pouring in and need to be decided.
Votes in the ongoing general election will be counted on May 23. Key sectors such as petroleum are still outside GST and more changes are expected in the rate structure, making the NAA’s role critical. GST now has four slabs 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% and it’s widely expected that middle two may be merged to reduce complexity. The NAA has passed orders against several companies following profiteering complaints. These include Hindustan Unilever for profiteering estimated at Rs 535 crore, Domino’s franchisee Jubilant FoodWorks (Rs 41.42 crore), Abbott Healthcare (Rs 96 lakh) and McDonald’s franchisee Hardcastle Restaurants (Rs 7.49 crore).