The Finance Ministry has served notices to three firms after complaints that they did not pass on the benefits of the government’s Goods and Services rate cuts to customers.
The government reduced tax rates on several goods and services in November. However, the Finance Ministry’s investigations arm, the Directorate General of Safeguards, got complaints that customers were still being charged under the old rates.
On December 29, the ministry sent notices to Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd, the main franchisee of fast-food chain McDonald’s in western and southern India, Sharma Trading Ltd, a Jaipur-based dealer of Hindustan Unilever’s Vaseline, and Lifestyle International.
The ministry has asked the three firms to give it copies of balance sheets, profit and loss account statements for 2016-’17 and GST returns for July-December among other documents as “evidence to investigate” if the benefit of reduced GST rates were passed on to the customers. The companies need to respond by January 12, the notices say.
So far, 169 anti-profiteering complaints have been registered under the GST regime, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla had said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday, The Indian Express reported.