E-tailers may have to clarify if they profiteered from GST cut

The government wants to know if the GST cut has been passed on to the consumer.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStock

The National Anti-Profiteering Authority in GST will soon reach out to e-commerce companies seeking responses on whether they profiteered from sale of good after reduction in the Goods and Services Tax rates, said a top official.

“We will be asking the e-commerce retailers details on the number of instances where products were sold or delivered after the GST rates were reduced… whether they then passed on the benefit to the buyer because they did not have the authority to collect the extra tax,” B.N Sharma, Chairman, National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) in GST told The Hindu.

If, after investigation, it is found that the e-commerce companies profiteered from the reduction in GST, they will be asked to identify buyers and refund the tax amount to them. In case, they are unable to identify the buyers, they will have to deposit the amount in the Consumer Welfare Fund.

Till now, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) major HUL had deposited about ₹120 crore in the fund while last week almost ₹13 crore was deposited by Nestle, said Mr. Sharma said.

The NAA, whose formation was approved by the Cabinet on November 16 – a day after the government announced sharp reduction in the GST rates on a large number of items of mass consumption, is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the consumers by way of a reduction in prices. The authority had so far received about 250 complaints from consumers via its website.

“Of these some are suo moto cases. We are working towards making consumers aware that they can come to us with complaints,” he said.

FMCG, real estate

Majority of complaints are against firms in real estate and the FMCG sector. The complaints include selling goods at an MRP that did not reflect the revised GST rates or the benefits of input tax credit received by a business not being passed on to the end consumer. NAA has now partnered with community social network LocalCircles to reach out to the people as part of their awareness campaign on the issue.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 12:52:21 PM |

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