National Anti-Profiteering Authority of India

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The Union Finance Ministry will soon set up a National Anti-Profiteering Authority in order to to curb any unwarranted price hikes by dealers/traders.

According to the GST rules, the Authority will have a three-tier structure, including a Standing Committee on Anti-profiteering, State-level Screening Committees, and a National Anti-Profiteering Authority.

Constitution of the Authority:

The Authority shall consist of –

1. The Chairman, who holds or has held a post equivalent in rank to a Secretary to the Government of India; &
2. Four – Technical Members who are or have been Commissioners of State tax or central tax or have held an equivalent post, to be nominated by the Council.

Committees:

1. The Council may constitute a Standing Committee on Anti-profiteering which consists of such officers of the State Government and Central Government as required.

2. A State level Screening Committee shall be constituted in each State by the State Governments which shall consist of-

a. One officer of the State Government, to be nominated by the Commissioner, &

b. One officer of the Central Government, to be nominated by the Chief Commissioner.

Secretary to the Authority:

The Additional Director General of Safeguards under the Board shall be the Secretary to the Authority.

Appointment and other terms & conditions:

The Chairman & Members shall be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendations of a Selection Committee.

The Chairman shall hold office for a term of 02 years from the date appointment or he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier & eligible for reappointment.

A person shall not be selected as the Chairman if he has attained the age of 62 years.

Duties of the Authority

1. To determine whether any reduction in rate of tax on any supply of goods or services or the benefit of the ITC has been passed on to the recipient;

2. To identify the registered person who has not passed on the benefit of reduction in rate of tax on supply of goods or services

3. To order –

a. Reduction in prices;

b. Return of the amount equivalent to the amount not passed to the recipient with interest @ rate of 18% &

c. Recovery of the amount not returned in case the eligible person & deposit same in the Consumer Welfare Fund

d. Imposition of penalty as prescribed under the Act; &

e. Cancellation of registration

The National Anti-Profiteering Authority is empowered to make a company lower its prices and refund money to consumers or deposit it in the Consumer Welfare Fund. It can also impose a penalty and cancel the registration of the company.

A search-cum-selection committee led by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha is expected to shortlist candidates. The GST Council will also vet appointments to the five-member panel.

Monitoring of prices of essential items has been one of the major tasks of the government since the rollout of GST on July 1.

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