Government moves swiftly on anti profiteering body; appoints B N Sharma as first chairman

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Updated: November 28, 2017 6:27:30 PM

In a follow-up to the last week’s Cabinet approval for creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of National Anti-Profiteering Authority under GST, the government on Tuesday appointed senior IAS officer B N Sharma as the first Chairman of this apex Authority.

GST, GST reform, GST regime, GST returns, GSTN, GST network, GST body, GST collections, tax collections,The National Anti-Profiteering Authority under the GST regime has been constituted to ensure that the benefit of lower indirect tax rates is passed on to consumers. (Image: Reuters)

In a follow-up to the last week’s Cabinet approval for creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of National Anti-Profiteering Authority under GST, the government on Tuesday appointed senior IAS officer B N Sharma as the first Chairman of this apex Authority. Sharma would be assisted by four senior officials of the rank of joint secretary and above, who have been appointed as technical members in the Authority. In the capacity of its chairman, Sharma is expected to give a direction to the Authority in boosting the confidence of consumers that GST is a ‘’Good and Simple Tax’  in the overall national interest.

Sharma served as the Additional Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance before this appointment. The other appointees are J C Chauhan, Chairman Tax Tribunal, Himachal Pradesh; Bijay Kumar, Principal Commissioner GST, Kolkata; C L Mahar, Principal Commissioner GST, Meerut; and R Bhagyadevi, ADG, Systems, Chennai.

The authority under the GST regime has been constituted to ensure that the benefit of lower indirect tax rates is passed on to consumers. The anti-profiteering measures were recently approved by the Union Cabinet and have been designed to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on the supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.

As per the structure of the anti-profiteering mechanism in the GST regime, complaints which are of local nature would be first sent to the state-level ‘screening committee’, while those of national level would be sent to the ‘standing committee’.

If the complaints have merit, then the respective committees would refer the cases for further investigation to the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS). The DGS would generally take about three months to complete the investigation and send the report to the anti-profiteering authority.

The anti-profiteering authority, if it finds that a company has not passed on GST benefits, will either direct the firm to pass on benefits to consumers or if the beneficiary cannot be identified will ask the firm to transfer the amount to a ‘consumer welfare fund’ within a specified timeline.

The GST Council in its 23rd Meeting held on November 10 in Guwahati, had recommended the reduction of the GST rate from 28% to 18% or lower tax slabs on goods falling under 178 headings.

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