Cabinet clears setting up of GST anti-profiteering authority

Days after announcing GST rate cut for 231 items, the union cabinet approved 16 November 2017 the establishment of the much-anticipated National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) to ensure the benefits of such rate cuts are passed on to consumers.

Anti-profiteering measures will provide an institutional framework to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on goods or services flow to consumers. This institutional framework comprises the National Anti-profiteering Authority, a Standing Committee, a Screening Committee in every state and the Directorate General of Safeguards under the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

The GST anti-profiteering authority will be headed by a senior official of the level of secretary to the central government with four technical members from the centre and the states. A selection panel led by cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha has already started consultations with states to finalize the members. The GST Council, at its 23rd meeting in Guwahati last week announced major GST rate cuts by shifting 177 items—ranging from shaving creams to wristwatches—from the highest slab of 28% to the 18% slab. It also decided to lower the GST rate on 54 other items, from diabetic food and refined sugar to bamboo furniture.

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