If your retailer is not selling daily products or providing service at the reduced price, you can now file a complaint with the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA), even as the Finance Ministry talks tough on passing the GST rate cut benefits to consumers. Last month Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia passed the onus to FMCG firms and big corporates to ensure that retailers pass on the benefit of GST rate cut to consumers and sell their products only after lowering the MRP.
How to file a complaint?
The complete format of Anti-Profiteering Application form can be accessed at: http://www.cbec.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/format_%20for_filing_anti-profiteering_application_new.pdf
You can file the complaint by filling out a form before the standing committee or state level screening committee. You would also need to attach self-attested copies of all documentary evidence like proof of identity, invoice, price List, detailed working sheet etc. You can download the form from Central Board of Excise and Customs website, or from this link: http://www.cbec.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/format_%20for_filing_anti-profiteering_application_new.pdf
“Under the GST, suppliers of goods and services must pass on any reduction in the rate of tax or the benefit of input tax credit to consumers by way of commensurate reduction in prices. If this is not done, the consumer’s interest is protected by the National Anti-profiteering,” the government said in a statement.
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 GST regime. As per the structure of the anti-profiteering mechanism in the GST regime, complaints which are of local nature would be first sent to the state-level ‘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 Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS). The DGS would generally take about three months to complete the investigation and send the report to the anti-profiteering authority.
The anti-profiteering authority, if it finds that a company has not passed on GST benefits, will either direct the firm to pass on benefits to consumers or if the beneficiary cannot be identified will ask the firm to transfer the amount to a ‘consumer welfare fund’ within a specified timeline.
The GST Council in its 23rd Meeting held on November 10 in Guwahati, had recommended the reduction of the GST rate from 28% to 18% or lower tax slabs on goods falling under 178 headings.