New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) The investigation arm of the revenue department has found merit in complaints against retail shopping outlet Lifestyle International and Sharma Trading Company for not passing on the benefit of GST rate reduction to consumers.
The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS), which is entrusted to investigate the cases of profiteering under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, had in December, 2017, served notices to Lifestyle International and Sharma Trading Company for not passing on rate cut benefit to consumers.
DGS is currently under the finance ministry’s revenue department.
“The DGS investigation has found that Lifestyle International and Sharma Trading Company have indulged in profiteering. The reports are being sent to the National Anti-Profiteering Authority,” a source told PTI.
In the GST regime, complaints of profiteering come to Standing Committee under the authority, which then scans the complaints and sends to the DGS.
The DGS finalises its report and submits to the anti-profiteering authority, which takes a final call on whether the company has actually indulged in profiteering or not and accordingly levies penalty.
“It is now up to the anti-profiteering authority to decide on whether to uphold the DGS findings and impose penalty,” the source added.
In the case of Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd, an individual had complained that the retail outlet in Mahagun Mall, Vaishali, Ghaziabad, has “not fully passed on the reduction in rate of tax” from 28 per cent to 18 per cent on Maybelline FIT Me Foundation.
With regard to Sharma Trading Company, a departmental store had complained that the trader had not passed on the benefit of GST rate reduction to 18 per cent from 28 per cent on ‘Vaseline VTM 400 ml’.
As per the decision of the GST Council, tax rates on 178 items of daily use, like after-shave, deodorant, detergent and washing power, make up products, were cut from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
Accordingly businesses were required to pass on the rate cut benefit to consumers.
Based on a complaint, UP-based Vrandavanesharee Automotive Pvt Ltd, authorised dealer of Honda Cars, was also served a notice by the DGS in December 2017, for not passing on tax reduction benefits under GST.
The DGS, in its investigation, had found that the dealer had not indulged in profiteering and accordingly sent the report to the anti-profiteering authority. The authority in its latest order has upheld the findings of the DGS.
The DG Safeguards generally takes about three months to complete the investigation and sends the report to the anti-profiteering authority.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.