P&G India found guilty of GST profiteering
The Directorate General of Anti profiteering found the fast moving consumer goods brand P&G India guilty of “profiteering” around Rs 250 crore ($37.58 million) by not passing on goods and services tax rate cut benefits to consumers.
The DGAP had investigated P&G’s accounts before and after rate cuts on November 15, 2017 following a complaint and found that the brand had not lowered prices on certain products to reflect cuts in GST rates that applied to them. The authority reported that P&G, which in India manufactures brands including Gillette, Olay, Pantene, and Head & Shoulders, failed to pass on a 10 percent GST rate cut from 28 percent to 18 percent to customers which applied to cosmetics, shampoos, and other products.
"The DGAP report has concluded profiteering worth Rs 250 crore by P&G,” a DGAP official told the Press Trust of India. “The National Anti Profiteering Authority will pass a final order on the quantum of profiteering after hearing the company's views."
“As a responsible corporate, P&G has always been committed to passing the net benefit of GST rate reduction to the consumers,” said the business in a statement. “We have passed the net benefit and communicated the same via advertising in mass media to help increase awareness with the consumers, shoppers and retailers … We hope that the concerned authorities will appreciate the procedure followed to pass on the GST benefit and will take a just view of the matter".
The DGAP is tasked with passing on its findings to the National Anti-Profiteering Authority which decides the appropriate action to be taken. If the NAA finds the business guilty of profiteering, it will direct it to refund the profiteered amount to the consumers who bought products at the elevated price. Should it be impossible to identify these consumers, the money must be deposited into the centre and state consumer welfare funds.
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