Complaints rise against Indian companies that haven’t passed on the benefits of lower GST to consumers: Report

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  • India’s National Anti Profiteering Authority is reportedly witnessing an increase in consumer complaints against fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) companies for not providing the tax cuts as decided by India’s goods and services tax rules.
  • Nearly 300 complaints were filed with the authority in the past few weeks, LiveMint reported.
  • The increase in the number of complaints reflects the limited success of the lower GST rates translating into lower consumer prices.

More and more consumers are lodging complaints with India’s National Anti Profiteering Authority (NAA) against fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms for not passing the GST rate cut benefits to them.

Nearly 300 complaints have been filed in the past few weeks against makers of handwashes, deodorants, scented oils, and cosmetics, Live Mint reported citing sources.

The increase in the number of complaints reflects the limited success of the lower GST rates translating into lower consumer prices.

India’s Goods and Services Tax Council announced a rebate in taxes from 28% to 18% last year on various consumer products including shampoo, cosmetics, hair oil, and groceries. Further, this year it decided to reduce the tax rate levied on refrigerators, washing machines, small televisions, and vacuum cleaners from 28% to 18%.

The extensive supply chains of FMCG companies may make it difficult for them to implement price changes and is not necessarily a move to inappropriately profit, according to the Mint report.

Most of the complaints lodged by consumers were related to products including khadi products, baby wash, disinfectant gels, and hair care products, said the report.

The National Anti-Profiteering Authority, which is responsible for monitoring if GST is implemented appropriately by companies, is expected to take action over the next few months.

A recent survey by Local Circles shows that nearly half of more than 7,800 survey respondents believe that the companies did not pass them GST rate cut benefits in the month of November. Whereas, only a small proportion of respondents, 5%, believe that they received a complete tax cut rate benefit, reported The Hindu Business Line citing a survey.
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