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The Centre and the "state concerned" will equally share the amount deposited by erring businesses in the consumer welfare fund set up as part of the GST anti-profiteering rules, a finance ministry notification has said.

Following the rollout of the GST in July last year, the government set up a national anti-profiteering authority to penalise businesses for failure to pass on tax benefits to consumers. In case the customer cannot be identified, the money has to be deposited in the consumer welfare fund.

The ministry has amended Central GST rules stating that 50 per cent of the amount is to be deposited in the Centre's consumer welfare fund and the remaining to the fund set up by the "state concerned".

The "state concerned" would here mean the state where the anti-profiteering authority has passed its orders against the business.

So far, CGST rules had not clarified how the amount collected from erring businesses and deposited in the fund would be split.

Complaints of a local nature are first sent to the state-level screening committee, while those of the national level are marked for the standing committee. If the complaints have merit, the respective committees refer the cases for further investigation to the directorate-general of anti-profiteering.

The directorate generally takes about three months to complete the investigation. If a company has not passed on GST benefits, it will either be asked to pass on the benefits to consumers or if the beneficiary cannot be identified to transfer the amount to the consumer welfare fund within a specified timeline.

Source : Telegraphindia

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