Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

HUL re­ceives GST prof­i­teer­ing no­tice

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NEW DELHI: The Direc­torate Gen­eral of Safe­guards (DGS) has slapped a no­tice for prof­i­teer­ing on con­sumer goods firm HUL for al­legedly not pass­ing on price re­duc­tion ben­e­fits to con­sumers af­ter the roll­out of the goods and ser­vices tax (GST).

This is the sixth no­tice is­sued by DGS, the in­ves­tiga­tive arm of the fi­nance min­istry, to en­ti­ties for not re­duc­ing prices post goods and ser­vices tax im­ple­men­ta­tion from July 1. “The stand­ing com­mit­tee had re­ferred the mat­ter to DGS which in turn has is­sued queries to HUL seek­ing re­sponse on whether the ben­e­fit of tax rate re­duc­tion post GST is passed on to con­sumers,” a source said.

In an email re­sponse to queries sent by PTI, Hin­dus­tan Unilever Ltd (HUL) said it has re­ceived the no­tice from DGS on Jan­uary 16. “We are in the process of as­cer­tain­ing the full de­tails. We will re­spond to the same stat­ing our po­si­tion,” it said.

“HUL remains fully com­mit­ted to­wards en­sur­ing that all ben­e­fits aris­ing from re­duc­tion in GST rates are fully passed on to the con­sumers. We have com­mu­ni­cated to trade ask­ing them to pass on the ben­e­fits to con­sumers,” the com­pany said.

As part of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the DGS usu­ally calls for a com­pany’s bal­ance sheet, profit and loss ac­count, GST re­turns and de­tails of in­voice wise out­ward tax­able sup­plies. It also scru­ti­nises the price list prior to and post GST roll­out. The com­pany is given over a fort­night time to re­spond to the no­tice. Af­ter study­ing the doc­u­ments, the DGS gives its re­port to the Anti-Prof­i­teer­ing Au­thor­ity for fur­ther ac­tion, which may in­clude fine and ex­treme penalty like can­cel­la­tion of registrati­on.

As per the struc­ture of the an­tiprof­i­teer­ing mech­a­nism in the GST regime, com­plaints of lo­cal na­ture will be first sent to the state-level ‘screen­ing com­mit­tee’, while those of na­tional level will be marked for the ‘stand­ing com­mit­tee’. If the com­plaints have merit, the re­spec­tive com­mit­tees would re­fer the cases for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion to the DGS. DGS is man­dated to com­plete its in­ves­ti­ga­tion within 3 months, and may seek an ex­ten­sion of a fur­ther 3 months from the stand­ing com­mit­tee.

“We have ac­cel­er­ated our net­works cov­er­ing more than 800 SKUs (stock keep­ing units) to re­duce prices and in­crease gram­mage in case of price point packs and most of these have al­ready landed in the mar­ket,” HUL said.

 ?? MINT/FILE ?? HUL says it is in the process of as­cer­tain­ing full de­tails and will re­spond to the no­tice stat­ing its po­si­tion
MINT/FILE HUL says it is in the process of as­cer­tain­ing full de­tails and will re­spond to the no­tice stat­ing its po­si­tion

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