Home / Economy / Competition Commission to check GST profiteering issues

NEW DELHI : With the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA)’s term coming to an end, anti-trust watchdog Competition Commission of India will have the mandate to monitor goods and services tax-related profiteering from 1 November, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), said on Thursday.

Mint reported on 11 November that if the Council does not meet by the month-end, a panel of officials will be authorized to take emergency decisions on giving the CCI the mandate to ensure that the benefits of GST rate cuts and availability of input tax credit are passed on to consumers.

CBIC said the government has empowered CCI to examine “whether input tax credits availed by any registered person, or the reduction in the tax rate, have actually resulted in a commensurate reduction in the price of the goods or services, or both, supplied by him."

The development ends the uncertainty over the future of the anti-profiteering regime, which was introduced to prevent businesses from pocketing the tax benefits meant for the consumer.

Companies had said that in the absence of an industry-specific guideline on the extent of price cut for products and services, following a reduction in GST rates will be difficult to comply with.

Policymakers also admitted that implementing the anti-profiteering provisions under the GST law will be difficult given that India is a free-market economy, and all businesses have pricing freedom. NAA will cease to exist on 1 December, but the investigation wing of the anti-profiteering watchdog will retain investigative powers under the GST laws, said Rajat Mohan, partner of accounting firm AMRG Associates.

“All reports by DGAP henceforth will be submitted to CCI for its verdict. Transfer of all pending cases from NAA to CCI and forming a special bench for adjudication may take some time, fuelling the pendency of cases. Judiciary may also consider remanding all the writ petitions filed in profiteering cases to CCI," explained Mohan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gireesh Chandra Prasad

Gireesh has over 22 years of experience in business journalism covering diverse aspects of the economy, including finance, taxation, energy, aviation, corporate and bankruptcy laws, accounting and auditing.
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