Infiniti Retail, Consumer Durables and Electronics (CDE) retailer, operating under the brand name ‘Croma’ has been asked to cough up Rs 1.9 crore in fine for Goods & Services Tax (GST)-related profiteering. The retailer has also been told to reduce the prices of its DSLR cameras and power banks by the government.
The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) has asked the retail arm of Tata to pay the penalty for alleged profiteering from the sale of cameras and power banks after the GST rate was reduced in 2019, according to a Mint report.
The NAA in its order gave three months to the company to pay up the amount along with 18% interest from the date of collection of funds from the consumers. The NAA order directs the Tata Group company to reduce the prices of its DSLRs and power banks.
According to the NAA, the profiteered amount from cameras amount to Rs 1.41 crore while from power banks amounted to Rs 48.19 lakh. It was calculated by assessing the base prices of the products before the GST rate was reduced and after it was slashed. GST rates for most of the goods and services are 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% and electronic goods are mostly at 18% GST. The GST Council reduced the rate on electronics from 28% to 18% effective January 2019.
The investigation period covered 6 months from January 1, 2019. As per GST laws, businesses are required to pass on the benefit of reduced cut immediately to the consumers. Businesses in India are free to determine the prices of their products but they cannot increase the base price in order to profit from relief which the government intends to give to consumers instead by way of GST rate cuts etc.
The Tata Group has joined Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and online retail behemoth Amazon.com Inc in the race to increase market share in India’s lucrative retail sector with acquisitions and plans of a ‘super app’. Tata Digital –is planning to unveil a ‘super app’ by December or early next year which is likely to host products and services in online food & grocery delivery, fashion & lifestyle, consumer durables, insurance and financial services, healthcare and bill payments segments.