GST body dismisses profiteering claims against Flipkart

New Delhi, Jul 23: National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA), the quasi-judicial body under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, has dismissed the allegation of profiteering against e-commerce major Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd.
Chennai-based Rishi Gupta had filed a profiteering complaint against the e-commerce company, alleging that he was issued two invoices by the supplier, which showed different amounts. The second invoice showed an amount less than what he had actually paid.
However, the notice said that the supplier had levied a lower GST of 18 percent instead of 28 percent and thus the complainant had not been overcharged.
Further, the order said that “the Supplier (M/s Godrej Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.) had not changed the base price of the item which was prevalent at the time of booking and at the time of delivery. Hence the supplier has not resorted to profiteering by increasing his base price or appropriated the excess amount of tax charged from the applicant and hence the allegation of violation of the provisions of Section 171 of the CGST Act, 2017.”
“The allegation of profiteering made by the applicant against the respondent as well as the supplier is not established and hence the application is not maintainable and the same is accordingly dismissed,” the NAA order said.
NAA is the top decision-making body under GST’s anti-profiteering mechanism, headed by a chairperson BN Sharma and four technical members.
The government had introduced an anti-profiteering clause to ensure businesses transfer the benefit of the tax credit to the consumer by making products cheaper.
The framework of the body comprises a standing committee, screening committees in every state as well as the Directorate General of Safeguards, now renamed as Director General Anti-Profiteering.
If consumers feel that the benefit of a rate cut is not being passed on to them, they can approach the state’s screening committee for relief.
The government has received hundreds of complaints under GST’s anti-profiteering mechanism, for not passing on to consumers a reduction in price.
The establishment of the authority is significant as the government has cut rates of over 400 items since the rollout of GST, out of which prices of 211 products were brought down on November 15, and close to 100 items on Saturday, July 21.
Till now, not even a single company has been proven guilty of profiteering under GST by NAA.