The Kerala government has called upon the Centre to take steps to check tendency in trade and business to make undue profit following launch of the Goods and Services Tax. The state wants setting up of an Anti-profiteering Authority at the national level and the Screening Committee at the state level at the earliest. It is also keen that the Centre publishes specific advertisements with the incidence matrix and resultant reduction in tax rate on commodities at the national level to prevent each state coming out with different figures.
In a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, state Finance minister T M Thomas Isaac claimed that though price of many commodities has come down due to GST, the consumer is not getting the benefit of the same. Many traders are making profit by imposing GST on the pre-GST price, he said, adding that hotels and restaurants are doing this the most. “It has been noticed that hotels and restaurants and daily consumable selling outlets instead of giving discounts because of reduction of tax or at least keeping price at the same level have increased the prices,” he alleged.
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“The hotel and restaurant industry has added 12-18 per cent GST tax on the price of food fixed in the pre-GST scenario,” Isaac maintained. “This has resulted in drastic increase in the cost of food creating a negative impression on GST among people,” the minister reasoned. He is apprehensive of likely occurrence of such tendencies in other sectors as well. Isaac felt that the detailed matrix on commodity-wise tax incidence would enable the state to take up awareness campaign, which would go a long way in controlling unreasonable pricing and avoiding resentment among people.