The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) has found a Delhi-based detergent manufacturer guilty of profiteering and ordered the firm to deposit Rs 4.64 lakh, along with an 18% interest, to the consumer welfare fund.
The company’s argument that it had reduced the base price of the product when the GST was rolled out was rejected by the authority, which held that the base price cut needed to be implemented even when the GST rate on the product was cut to 18% from 28% on November 15, 2017.
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“The order lays down another important aspect of the anti-profiteering provision; that a reduction in base price is obligatory post reduction in rate of GST and any reduction prior to implementation of rate change would not be sufficient compliance of this provision. Industry players who may have adopted a different position would need to revisit their position,” Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY, said.
The company, Excel Rasayan, defended the practice saying that after the introduction of GST, 28% tax was levied on detergent compared with 12.5% of VAT applicable to the manufacturer in the pre-GST era as it was exempt from the excise regime. To accommodate for the change in tax rate, the company had reduced the base price as it had disturbed its pricing patters.