New Delhi: Senior IAS officer Badri Narain Sharma was on Tuesday appointed the chairman of the newly constituted National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) under the GST regime, an official statement said.
The Union Cabinet last week approved the setting up of the anti-profiteering authority under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in a bid to ensure that the benefit of lower rates is passed on to consumers.
According to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), Sharma is an IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre of the 1985 batch. He will have the rank and pay of a Secretary in the government.
"BN 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," a Finance Ministry release said in New Delhi.
"These officials are Chairman Himachal Pradesh Tax Tribunal JC Chauhan, Principal Commissioner GST, Kolkata, Bijay Kumar, Principal Commissioner GST, Meerut, CL Mahar and R. Bhagyadevi, ADG, Systems, Chennai," it said.
Prior to his appointment as the NAA chairman, Sharma was Additional Secretary in the Department of Revenue, the statement added.
The authority has been set up for a two-year period and is mandated to ensure that the benefits of input credit and the reduction in tax rates effected by the GST Council are passed on to the consumers, the ministry said.
Th anti-profiteering institutional framework comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every state and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
Affected consumers can apply for relief to the Screening Committee in the particular state.
However, in case the incident of profiteering relates to an item of mass consumption with "All India ramification", the application may be directly made to the Standing Committee, the ministry said in a statement earlier.
"After forming a prima facie view that there is an element of profiteering, the Standing Committee shall refer the matter for detailed investigation to the Director General of Safeguards, CBEC, which shall report its findings to the NAA," it said.
"In the event, the NAA confirms there is a necessity to apply anti-profiteering measures, it has the authority to order the supplier/business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed by it along with interest to the recipient of the goods or services," it added.
If the undue benefit cannot be refunded, the government can order it be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund.
"In extreme cases, the NAA can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST," the statement said.
"The constitution of the NAA shall bolster the confidence of consumers as they reap the benefits of the recent reduction in GST rates," it added.
In the biggest revamp of the GST tax structure earlier this month, the GST Council removed 178 items from the highest 28 percent category while cutting the tax on all restaurants outside starred-hotels to 5 percent but withdrawing input credit facility for them. The facility of input tax credit for restaurants was being withdrawn as they had not passed on this benefit to consumers, the government said.
Only 50 products, including luxury and sin items, white goods, cement and paints, automobiles, aeroplane and yacht parts have been retained in the top 28 percent slab.
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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 21:28:49 IST