July 01, 2019

National Anti-Profiteering Authority Gets Legal Teeth To Probe Beyond Director General of Anti-Profiteering Complaint

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


India’s anti-profiteering watchdog National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) has been given more powers to widen a probe against a company to include goods or services which have not been covered in an investigation report.

The government has inserted a provision in the goods and services tax rules to allow the NAA to direct the Director General of Anti-Profiteering (DGAP) to widen a probe if there is reason to believe that there has been contravention of norms not covered in the latter’s report.

Earlier, the GST Council had also approved imposition of an additional penalty of up to 10% of the profiteered amount if companies don’t pay a fine of Rs 25,000 in 30 days.

In the past, there have been cases where the DGAP had sought to widen a probe to other goods or services beyond the scope of complaints. The new legal provision specifically allows the NAA to extend the probe to other products as well.

The June 28 notification also empowers the NAA to summon any person in relation to a probe. Originally, this was limited only to the DGAP or its officers.

Besides, the DGAP has also been allowed to complete a probe within six months from the date of receipt of reference from the standing committee instead of three months at present.

The DGAP will get additional time to complete any new investigation handed out by the NAA and it can also apply for a three-month extension from the NAA.

A standing committee can now apply for a one-month extension from the NAA, in addition to the two months allowed for examining a complaint or application.

Similarly, the NAA can now issue its order within six months, instead of three months earlier, from the date of receipt of report from the DGAP.

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