A National Anti-Profiteering Authority formed by the government, issued notices to two companies for not passing on GST benefits to customers. They are now under investigation by the Directorate General of Safeguards, the investigative division of the Revenue department of the Finance Ministry.
"We have asked for all the documents including balance sheets, sales and procurement details so that we can investigate the matter threadbare. We have three months' time to conclude the investigation and submit the report to the Anti-Profiteering Authority. The authority will take the final decision based on our investigation," said a top official.
The Authority was created to ensure that wherever the GST load has been decreased by way of rate cuts, businesses and traders should pass on the benefits to the buyers. On failing to do so, the authority is permitted to fix prices on behalf of the trader or firm. The company in question must repay the customer the charged amount with 18 % interest since the day of purchase. In worst case scenario, it can terminate the GST registration of the firm.
"Both the matters have already been reviewed by the Standing Committee. As they found prima facie evidence against two companies, the matter has now been referred to DG Safeguards for further investigation," said another finance ministry official. The Finance Ministry is planning to act against eight more companies.