The directorate general of anti-profiteering has been directed to keep a tab on manufacturers of sanitary napkins so that benefits of GST rate cut are passed on to consumers, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said today. The GST council, chaired by Union finance minister and comprising state counterparts, last week exempted sanitary napkins from GST levy. It was earlier in the 12 per cent slab.
Goyal said he has asked the Directorate General of anti-Profiteering to examine if the manufacturers had cut prices earlier when GST was introduced on July 1, 2017, or they are reducing prices now. There have been reports that sanitary napkins will not benefit from the exemption from GST since they will not be able to claim credit on raw materials used in manufacturing.
Terming these reports as “misplaced calculation”, Goyal said “I have already instructed the department which looks after anti-profiteering to investigate to ensure that either the rates would have come down on July 1,2017, or it should come down now. It cannot be that they have the cake and eat it too”.
Manufacturers of sanitary napkins have been continuously demanding that tax rates be brought down so that prices can come down, Goyal told reporters on the sidelines of a CAIT event here. “If they do not reduce the rate now that means they have been profiteering for last 12 months and the directorate is already seized of the matter,” Goyal said.
Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, the directorate general of anti-profiteering investigates complaints against manufacturers, dealers and traders for not passing on tax rate cut benefits in the form of price reduction to consumers. Exempting sanitary napkins was among the host of decisions that the GST Council had taken last week to rationalise tax rates and simplify return filing process. Goyal also said that rising GST collections will help in further reduce tax rates.