n order to ensure that businesses pass on the benefits of tax rate reduction under the new indirect tax regime, the Central GST Act provides for an anti-profiteering section. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today sought to allay industry concerns over the anti-profiteering clause in the GST law, saying there is nothing to fear if benefits of reduced tax rates are passed on duly to consumers. As per the rules, a five-member National Anti- Profiteering Authority will be set up, which will have the powers to order reduction in price commensurate with the lowering of incidence of taxation under the new indirect tax regime.
The proposed anti-profiteering authority can cancel registration of any entity or business if it fails to pass on to consumers the benefit of lower taxes. “I would want to allay that fear (of industry). Every concession or reduction in the rates, we want that to be passed on to the end consumers…This objective has to be served by those who are dealing with the matter and if you dealt with it, there is nothing to be worried about it,” she said at an Aaj Tak Conclave on GST.
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She said there were times in India before GST that many of the incentives and subsidies were never passed on to the end consumers and there are very clear violations. “So, there is a need for us to have a provision to question why it (benefits) has not reached to the consumers,” the minister added. When asked about the opposition political parties boycotting the mid-night launch programme, Sitharaman said this is a moment of happiness and pride.
“It should be some sense of ownership for all of us. Its no festivity only for me, it is not my diwali versus your diwali. This is a gigantic and historic step…so where is the politics in this,” she added. Further, she added that the industry should not be concerned about the compliance issues of GST as everything would be online. Replying on the protest by the textiles industry, the minister said textiles players in South India are very excited about the new tax regime.