Consumer Affairs Ministry issues advisory to all States
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 27
Tax officials in States can take help from their local Legal Metrology Controllers to see that the consumer gets the benefit from GST rate reduction. The Consumer Affairs Ministry has issued an advisory to all the States in this regard.
“The State Legal Metrology Controllers have been requested to assist the GST officers at the State level to cross verify to ensure benefits of tax rate reduction and input tax credit etc. under the GST are passed on the consumers,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Kumar Srivastava wrote to Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia. The letter said, post GST rate reduction in July, permission has been granted up to December 31 to declare MRP (Maximum Retail Price) by affixing additional stickers or by way of stamping or online printing on the pre-packaged commodities.
A senior government official said that officials in the States are the first point to see whether the benefit of rate cuts has been incorporated not just at the factory gate level, but also in the local market. “This is possible in two ways: either by seeing that invoice has lower price post reduction or there is no compromise with the quantity. Since, Legal Metrology Wing in States do ensure weight and measure as prescribed under the law, they will be very helpful in assisting GST officials,” he said.
Since the introduction of GST on July 1, 2017, the GST Council has so far lowered rates on 384 commodities and 68 different categories of services. This has resulted in revenue loss of over ₹70,000 crore. The government has repeatedly said that the benefit of rate cut must reach the consumer. The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) keeps a check on the unfair profit-making activities by the trading community. The Authority’s core function is to ensure that the benefits of the reduction is GST rates on goods and services made by GST Council and proportional change in the input tax credit are passed on to the ultimate consumers. The role of State Administration is very critical in achieving these objectives.
Legal Metrology wing
Every State and Union Territory has a Legal Metrology wing manned by a Controller. The wing ensures consumer protection against exploitation in transaction of commodities in respect of their prices vis-à-vis weights and measures. It undertakes stamping of all weights and measures in commercial use (transaction or protection) periodically. The main functions of the wing is to implement the provisions of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, the Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011, the Legal Metrology (Enforcement) Rules, 2011 and the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.