Anti-profiteering: NAA’s 1st order goes against consumer

By: | Published: April 24, 2018 5:25 AM

In its first order, the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) for the goods and services tax (GST) has absolved a Barielly-based dealer of Honda cars of the charges of not passing on the benefit of reduced tax incidence to a consumer.

National Anti profiteering Authority, gst, Barielly,  Honda cars, NAA order, ITC, gst regime, post gstThe objective behind setting up NAA was to pass the benefits of the GST in the form of lower tax rates/higher input tax credits in business-to-business transactions to consumers. (IE)

In its first order, the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) for the goods and services tax (GST) has absolved a Barielly-based dealer of Honda cars of the charges of not passing on the benefit of reduced tax incidence to a consumer. According to the complaint lodged with the NAA in November last year, the consumer had booked the car for Rs 9.13 lakh before the GST regime kicked in; although the dealer reduced the delivery price to Rs 8.98 lakh post-GST, the consumer felt that the price should have been lower still. The NAA was set up in September last year. The objective behind setting up NAA was to pass the benefits of the GST in the form of lower tax rates/higher input tax credits in business-to-business transactions to consumers.

According to the NAA order, the director general of safeguards (DGS), which probed the matter, found that the allegation of the applicant (consumer) that the total tax on the car prior to the implementation of GST was 51% which was reduced to 29% post-GST, was not correct. The authority dismissed the consumer’s argument that the reduction in price was not commensurate with the reduction in tax rate.

“We find that the respondent (dealer) has given details of all the basic components of the price of the car purchased by the applicant (consumer).. .and benefit of Rs 10,550 on account of reduction of tax by about 2% — from 31.254% (pre-GST) to 29% (post-GST) — has already been passed on to the applicant and the amount of Rs 10,550 is inclusive of the ITC (input tax credit) … therefore, no additional benefit on account of ITC is required to be paid by the respondent,” the order issued by NAA’s chairman BN Sharma and other members stated.

In the GST regime, a three-tier structure is there to look into profiteering complaints, which includes state-level screening committees for complaints of local nature, a national-level standing committee for profiteering at the all-India level and the NAA. If the respective committees find merit in the complaints on examination, they refer the cases for further investigation to the DGS, which has to furnish a report within three months or an extended period of 6 months to the NAA. According to a recent reply in Parliament, till March 11 the Centre had received 428 complaints against alleged profiteering by businesses in the GST regime. Of these, the screening committee forwarded 68 applications to the DGS, which has issued notices of initiation of investigation in 10 cases involving 54 applications.

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